Uplifting commentary on the Gospels, Acts, early Apostolic history, and a life of discipleship.
The “one who asks” refers to the one who asks the Father in prayer, as James the brother of the Master explained, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). The rabbis teach, “An answer to prayer is connected to the calling, and calling is connected to the answer.”
Rabbi Hillel used to say, “If you see a generation that does not cherish the Torah, hold in your words.” It does no good to preach Bible at atheists; it only provokes them. On a practical level, we should not force the message of the kingdom on people who do not want to hear it.
Have you ever noticed how those who like to point out the flaws in others are the same people who seem to have the most excuses and justifications for their own character flaws? Yeshua warned his disciples against judging others for their faults and imperfections.
Disciples of Yeshua should not declare God’s condemnation against others or presume to know God’s verdict regarding a human being. We should he point to a fellow’s misfortune and declare him justly repaid for wrongdoing. The disciple of Yeshua should be the most reluctant of all to declare a man’s final judgment and eternal destiny.
The “kingdom” is the Messianic Era. To seek the kingdom first means to prioritize attaining the reward of entering the kingdom—i.e., the resurrection of the dead and the Messianic Era. To seek God’s righteousness means to apply His Torah as Yeshua explained it in the Sermon on the Mount.
The life of John the Immerser, who lived in the wilderness eating and wearing only what he found, illustrates Yeshua’s teaching about God providing food, drink, and clothing. Discipleship to Yeshua did not allow for an abdication of responsibility, but it did call for a renunciation of worry and anxiety.
The slave with two masters will by way of necessity prefer one master over the other. The slave with divided loyalties cannot serve both masters simultaneously, so he must choose one over the other, even if he truly wishes he could serve both. His preference for one master will eventually evolve into disdain for the other.
The sages described a charitable person as a man with a good eye. The Master employed the good-eye/bad-eye terminology metaphorically to speak about spiritual blindness. If a person is generous and charitable, he has a good eye. The lamp of his body functions, filling his body with light.
People say, “You can’t take it with you.” Yeshua contradicted that adage by citing the common Jewish belief that resources given to the needy will be repaid and rewarded in the Messianic Era and the World to Come. “Treasures in heaven” does not refer to literal treasure stored up someplace beyond the sky, instead, it means “treasure with God.” That is to say, “Invest in the things of God and He will reward you.”
As a rule, disciples of Yeshua should not draw attention to their religious practices or acts of piety. More than anyone, we should be discreet, modest, and humble in our religious devotion, doing everything only for the sake of God’s eyes, not for the sake of what people will think of us.