Chiasmus or introversion is a figure of speech that has a very special emphasis and also pertains to the structure of a passage.  There is a wonderful book that you can order from CBD or any bookstore that is called Chiasmus in the New Testament by Nils W. Lund.  The entire book is full of examples of this figure of speech.  When we see this figure, the point that is emphasized is in the middle phrase or phrases of the introversion, or as Lund puts it:  “The centre is always the turning point.”  If we used capital letters to describe a passage, the introversion would be ABCDDCBA.  The phrases in “D” would be the ones that are emphasized.

The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-8 is full of this figure.  Here are a few examples. The first one is from Matthew 5:3-10:

A  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

B  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

C  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

D  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

D  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

C  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

B  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

A  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The middle phrases of “D” are emphasized and we see this is true because they are the main themes of the entire sermon, what is true righteousness and how to live it.

Here is a chiasmus in 6:7-9 that emphasizes not to be like the hypocrites.  Notice also how the center phrase is the turning point.

A  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:

B  for they think that they shall be heard

C  for their much speaking.

D  Be not ye therefore like unto them:

C  for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,

B  before ye ask him.

A  After this manner therefore pray ye:

Matthew 6:24 is a chiasmus in one verse:

A  No man can serve two masters,

B  For either he will hate the one,

C  And love the other;

C  Or else he will hold to the one,

B  And despise the other.

A  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The conclusion of Matthew 6 is a summary of the first part of the sermon.

A  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal

shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)

B  for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

C  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;

B  and all these things shall be added unto you.

A  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of

itself.  (Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.)