"Jesus taught about true worship in a variety of ways in Matthew 5:13-7:23.
(A) Why do you think He described worship in these terms?
(B) How might this description of true worship be different than what we usually think about worship today?
(C) How can you improve your worship of God today?"
Define important and key terms and ideas.
Reading from Matthew from 5 to 7 inclusive is the moral core of his teaching. His specific ethical doctrine need not be developed in detail since the prophets had already done this, and he assumed his hearers knew the prophets well.
Worship (of itself) is only mentioned in chapter 6. In this case, the well known passage is here about praying and secret - it also includes fasting and alms-giving. Near the end of chapter 7, Christ's warning about false prophets is specifically striking.
Here are the issues in relation to worship:
1. There is a creative tension between chapter 5, where his followers are compared with salt, and a lamp on a candlestick and chapter 6, where his followers must pray in secret. A lamp under a bushel is not exactly secret.
2. Salt is a dual concept - it can preserve meat from putridity, but, as the Romans knew well, it could, if sprinkled into the soil, keep anything from growing. In terms of worship - prayer can either be the source of grace or of condemnation. The same prayer (think of the Publican and Pharisee story) can be said in either a spirit of contrition or of self-exaltation. A prayer can act as a light if it is performed in the proper spirit. It can also be the cause of condemnation.
3. There is a clear difference between private and public prayer. Public prayers are not in secret - it is the corporate worship of the church as the body of Christ. Private prayer should be done in secret so as to avoid any development of self-exaltation.
4. The Our Father is laid out in the beginning of chapter 6. many good commentaries have been written on this. This one is excellent: http://www.orthodoxprayer.org/Lords_Prayer.html. From St. John Cassian here: ...
The solution discusses true worship and how to improve it.