We are now in Part 9 of our Kingdom Living sermon series. In Matt. 6, Jesus warns against doing righteous acts “before other people” (v. 1). He censures against doing righteous acts in order “to be seen by them” (v. 1). Matthew 6:1 is the controlling verse for Jesus’ discourse in vv. 1-18. It is the key verse for the whole discussion. Kingdom living is righteous living in secret, seeking God’s praise, and not of men.
Jesus then used three religious duties of the Jews as illustrations—giving to the poor, praying, and fasting. It’s a good combination—GPF—Give to the Poor, Pray, Fast. We tend to forget the poor; hence, we should give to the poor every day. We tend to forget to pray; hence, we should pray every day. We love to feast on food; hence, we should fast regularly.
Don’t show off, Jesus said, when you give to the poor in secret (vv. 2-4). Don’t show off when you pray (vv. 5-6). Don’t show off, when you fast (vv. 16-18). The whole point is that in the Kingdom of God, righteous acts are a matter between you and God; nobody should know. Seek the praise of God, and not the praise of men. Seek God’s glory, and not your own glory.
We are now in the third illustration—fasting in secret.