One Wonderful Word: When
Bible scholars will tell you, and I agree, that you should never build an entire message on one word in Scripture. This is the way of barterers of “breakthroughs” like TD Jakes, Joel Olsteen, and others who take words out of context and sell you entire DVD collections of their deadly misperceptions so you can try to get what you think you want in this world.
But in Matthew 6 there is a word, used properly and in context, that made all the difference in the world to the people listening to JESUS. And it should to you, too. That word is “when.”
Although JESUS preached in Hebrew and Aramaic we have the word in Greek in the New Testament because Greek is a language of nuance. Greek can convey meanings to the intent of the Holy Spirit we wouldn’t have if the New Testament were in Hebrew. That is why GOD saw to it that it would be carried in that language.
So when we read “when” in Matthew 6, as JESUS tells those who follow Him “when” you give, “when” you pray, it has the special meaning of intent. It is not the must that they are accustomed to being told about the “when” of the Law. It is the difference between the 10-year-old boy being told “when” his parents bring him to the store he must buy a birthday present for his sister and the “when” of the husband who, when he passes his wife’s favorite flowers at the grocery checkout, buys them for her “just because” he knows they will please her.
The Holy Spirit changes those who give themselves to JESUS to make them want to give to others out of love. It’s no longer an exterior pressure in order to manipulate GOD. It is the pressure from a heart full of love. Not scheduled, but certain to happen just because love acts that way. There will be prayer, calling to the Father not at required times, not from outward pressure or a desire to be seen, but whenever love compels us to talk to the One we love.
The wonderful word of “when” in Matthew 6 changes everything. Because JESUS is freeing those who were under the Law to pray and do good for others out of fear and working at being seen to now live out of love, instead. He says they…and we… will do now from a new nature what pleases GOD rather than acting unnaturally when they and we were lost. Because He is leading them…and us…Home.