I was having an off morning a few days ago. The morning seemed to bring a dark cloud with it. The cloud just seemed to float over me, without any good explanation as to why I felt that way. My lack of joy in the Lord left me feeling like the day was going to be dim. God opened my eyes, however. He showed me a gracious lesson that we all need to remember.
While the cloud was hovering over me, I decided to stand and look out one of our windows. A vibrant, red cardinal came flying by and landed on a small, green tree. My first thought was, “That bird is so vibrant!” I then thought, “How crazy is it that God controls everything that this bird does?” My mind then rushed to Jesus talking about sparrows in the book of Matthew. God impressed on my spirit, “Clay, I care for that bird. How much more do I care for you! What are you afraid of?”
The cloud seemed to lift almost instantly. I picked up my Bible and flipped to find the passage that had come to my mind. I found it in Matthew 10 and immediately felt a comfort that was lacking earlier that morning. Jesus gives us a loving reminder that we all need to keep close to our hearts.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
Do you feel the weight of what Jesus is saying as you read those three verses? If not, I would urge you to read them again. Do you believe what Jesus is saying in those verses? Would you bank your life on them? Sparrows are completely cared for by the God of the universe. His care for His people is much deeper and stronger. This shatters all fear!
Christians should not be people of fear and worry. Jesus was speaking to His disciples in Matthew 10 about sending them out into the world. He was telling them to expect persecution, evil, and hatred because of their faith. Telling them about the sparrows was to calm their nerves and show them that they ultimately had nothing to fear. We need the same reminder today. Jesus’ words in these three verses are full of endless truths. I want to leave us with three massive takeaways.
1.) Sparrows are sold for loose change. You were bought at a massive price.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?” Jesus asked this question to magnify our view of God’s love and care for us. A bird that is worth $0.005, according to Jesus, is completely carefree as it flies around in open air. It does not have to worry about food or shelter because God provides both for it. Our worth, Jesus says, is much greater than this.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
Does this sound familiar? Jesus is again using the imagery of birds to show us how God even cares for the little things. Birds do not store up food. God makes sure they eat. Birds do not have homes with air conditioners. God makes sure they have a place to sleep. God does not leave sparrows, who are sold for loose change, uncared for. He will certainly not leave us uncared for. Therefore, what do we have to worry about?
Jesus asks, “Are you not much more valuable than they?” He expects us to know the answer. Yes! Of course we are more valuable! How much more valuable are we? Valuable enough to be redeemed by the shedding of His own blood. The apostle Paul says two times in 1 Corinthians, “You were bought at a price.” What price is he talking about? The price of the Son of God hanging on a cross in our place. The sin of the world and the wrath of God driven through His hands and feet. We have been purchased at that high price. Oh yes, we are much more valuable than the birds!
2.) The hairs on your head are all numbered.
How long do you think it would take you to count the number of hairs on your head? Then, how long would it take you to go and count the hairs on every head on the planet? This would obviously be an impossible task. Not so with God. Every hair, on every head ever created, is counted and known by God. Why is this important? Because this shows how intimately known we are by Him.
Every intricate detail of your life is known by God. He made you a certain way and you are special in His eyes. He made the sparrows and He really likes them, too. However, you are in a whole different category. Not a single hair on your head is out of God’s concern. Not one will fall to the ground without God knowing about it. He is keeping a close eye on the sparrows, but He is watching over you with special care. You are valuable in God’s eyes. Let that sink in.
3.) Don’t be afraid.
“So don’t be afraid.” This is the conclusion of Jesus’ purpose in telling His disciples about the sparrows. They were about to go spread the Gospel, which was going to include people hating and persecuting them. There must have been at least a little fear building up in these disciples. But Jesus tells them, “Look at the birds! You have nothing to worry about!” We can have this same peace.
What is it that has you stuck in fear? What is it that is keeping you down? I would encourage you to look to the birds. God’s care was more than enough for twelve men who were guaranteed hate and persecution. God’s care is more than enough for what you are facing as well. Do birds have stressful lives? Do they ever go without? God takes complete care of them. And guess what? You and I are much more valuable than them in His eyes.
God cares for you, brother or sister. Let this spur you on, today. Let this shatter your fears. Look to the birds and find a new peace in Him. Birds could be sold for pennies. You, however, have been purchased with the precious blood of Jesus. God knows every single hair on your head. What have we to worry about? Things are going to be okay. No matter what it looks like from our perspective, we know that God is in control and that He cares for us. We are worth more than many sparrows!