34: Seek First The Kingdom
Jesus wanted to say much more to His disciples and followers. He told them that those who wished to serve God alone—and not money—did not have to worry about suffering need. They should simply entrust themselves to God's fatherly care.
"Therefore I say to you, do not be concerned about your life, what you will eat or drink, or what clothes you will wear. Isn't life much more than food, and isn't the body much more than clothing?
"Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store food in barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much greater value than those birds?
"Which of you, by being anxious, can add even a single hour to his life?
"Look at the lilies of the field—how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
"If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and is thrown into the fire tomorrow, won't He also clothe you, you people of little faith? The pagans worry constantly about such things.
"Rest assured that your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will also be yours."
If the people would only do as Jesus said. If they would only seek the Kingdom of God, they would not be so busy finding fault with each other and complaining about each other. They noticed every little sin, every little shortcoming in their neighbor. Their own sins and shortcomings, which were often much greater, escaped their attention.
Jesus said, "Why do you worry about the splinter in your brother's eye but pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the splinter out of your eye' while there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first! Then you will be able to see properly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."
Jesus emphasized to His followers and disciples that they must not be only hearers of the Word. They must become doers also if they were to be good citizens of the Kingdom. To drive this point home so that they would never forget, He told them a parable.
It was a story of two men. Each man built a house. One was obedient; he went to work just the way he was taught. The other was careless; he did not worry about what he had been taught.
Jesus said, "Everyone who hears My words and acts on them is like the sensible man who built his house on a rock. When a great storm struck, when the rain fell and the wind blew fiercely, the house was not swept away. It was built upon a rock.
"But whoever hears My words and does not act on them is like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. When a great storm struck, when the rain fell and the wind blew fiercely, the house collapsed. It fell with a great crash."
Then Jesus was silent. The people were silent too. They were dumbfounded. Never had they heard anyone speak so beautifully, so truly, and with so much power.
If Jesus could speak about the Kingdom of God in this way, could it be that He was the King? Awe-struck, the people followed Jesus as He walked down the mountain.