A continuation of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. The motivation behind the action. How to pray. What does it mean by do not judge? Stone and bread, fish and serpent. Christ as the rock upon which we should build.
5 responses on "Matthew 6 - 7"
FOR SURE KEEP PRAYING when partaking of refreshments. It took sacrifice from multiple people to provide those delicious donuts and we should be eternally grateful to them for that sacrifice! And thank God that donuts are so delicious! For me, I’m just not gonna ask God to perform the miracle of making those donuts “nourish and strengthen us”
First off, thanks for checking us out and for taking time to reach out to us! Also, wow, you coaxed Nate out of his shell for his first ever post on this website! Keep the questions/comments coming!
Next, my take on blessing the donuts. Since we’ve been doing Come Follow Me, I’ve had a paradigm shift in what it means to ‘bless the food.’ I used to think of it from maybe a selfish perspective, bless this food so that it can bless me. My prayers would be that the food will be clean and safe for me to eat, that it would provide nourishment and strength, all in the end that it might improve myself. Now, I see it as genuinely bless the food for the sacrifice it gave for me. Our life can only be sustained by the sacrifice of life. Even in the case of donuts, the sugar and the wheat were once living organisms that were harvested, or killed. Even with seeds, eggs, or grain, it is the potential for life that is cut short so that our life can be sustained. It points to the atonement. Even though we are alive now, we cannot stay alive unless life is sacrificed to sustain us. So now when I pray over food, in my mind, I am genuinely grateful for all the life, plant or animal, that was sacrificed to sustain me. It drives me to want to live in such away that I would be somehow worthy of their sacrifice. That they might feel pleased that their death had purpose and more good came from it. It helps me focus on how I can in turn sacrifice of myself to sustain and help others to live. So when I bless the food, I’m asking the Lord to bless the soul, the life of what was sacrificed for me. Reward it for it’s sacrifice and help it feel content for what has happened.
I especially liked that you brought up the example of donuts or refreshments. I like the chance to bless them, because it’s an opportunity to express gratitude and pray for a blessing. It may be small compared to a full meal, but life was still sacrificed. Also, I like what this could mean in terms of how we offer of ourselves. Sometimes we give large commitments that can be like a feast or a meal, and sometimes we give something light that can brighten someone’s day or mood or provide humor which I think is like a refreshment.
One last point, even though eating requires the taking of life, the Lord does not want us to starve our entire life and try and go without. He enjoyed dinning with his disciples and promises to drink wine with us. I understand from this that he enjoyed the small pleasures like refreshments.
In Jesus’s time the box that people put their donations or temple tithing in, had a funnel shaped “horn” that was referred to as the “trumpet”. Some people wanted to show off their generosity would have their servants carry that box with the funnel on top out into the street so people could see them put their money in. That is what was meant by going before then with a trump.
I love the perspective! Thanks for sharing! Thanks for listening and taking the time to engage with us! This idea of the trumpet referring to the alms box is referenced in Adam Clarke’s Biblical commentary, “…Some learned men have thought that the word shopher, a trumpet, refers to the hole in the public alms chest, into which the money was dropped which was allotted for the service of the poor. Such holes, because they were wide at one end and grew gradually narrow towards the other, were actually termed shopheroth, trumpets, by the rabbins; of this Schoettgen furnishes several examples. An ostentatious man, who wished to attract the notice of those around him, would throw in his money with some force into these trumpet-resembling holes, and thus he might be said to sound the trumpet.”
Another explanation was offered by Thomas Harmer, “The derveeshes carry horns with them, which they frequently blow, when anything is given to them, in honor of the donor. It is not impossible that some of the poor Jews who begged alms might be furnished like the Persian derveeshes, who are a sort of religious beggars, and that these hypocrites might be disposed to confine their alms-giving to those that they knew would pay them this honor.” Observations on diverse passages of Scripture vol. i, page 474. This is reminiscent to Panda Express ringing a bell every time you round up your bill to donate to a charity, or perhaps even the Salvation Army with Santa Clause ringing a bell at Christmas time. This is an interesting take on it, however, there is nothing in Jewish writing to confirm that this was the case.
While these are both interesting explanations for why Christ might have said it, I don’t think we can conclusively state that either explanation is why he said it. There is no scholarly consensus or revelatory answer that offers that kind of insight into this particular teaching. I’m super glad you brought up the perspective though, I like to consider something from as many angles as possible, and we don’t have time to cover that in an hour long podcast. Keep the insight coming!
For my part on this one, I look at the context of Jesus’s teaching where he uses hyperbole and humor, and I like to think that this is another instance where he is taking something and exaggerating it a bit to draw it out and make a point. That might not be the case, that’s just my perspective.
First time listener, trying out different podcasts, thank you for your time and efforts.
Referring to the prayer portion in your podcast, you specifically mention blessings on the refreshments that are full of sugar. I am currently working with the youth in my ward and with that mindset, I’m asking the question, “should we keep praying for the donuts?”