A sparrow is a small bird. Some Bible translations use the English
word "sparrow" in reference to most any small bird and others limit
its use to finches. Jesus illustrates a lesson, which speaks volumes,
with one of God's smallest and comparatively "insignificant" creatures
- the sparrow.
Luke's epistle was written from a historical perspective. In the
twelfth chapter he records Jesus' teachings of warning, encouragement,
and practical daily living. He begins by warning them of the Pharisees
who would eventually kill them - they were to be wise and understand
the events unfolding around them. Elsewhere, Jesus taught His disciples
to flee in times of danger although they must also endure persecutions
Whether fleeing from a city or enduring pain and suffering, Jesus
taught His disciples to endure these things without fear saying:
"And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill
the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will
show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed,
has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Are not
five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is
forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows"
Jesus taught that we should not fear men. This does not mean that
we should run into the midst of criminals with disregard for safety
and devoid of common sense. There is a difference between living
unafraid and bringing adversity upon oneself because of stupidity!
Jesus further teaches that God is watching each little thing that
takes place in our life. He has the very hairs of our head numbered
and is watching over us with great care. This does not mean that
nothing "bad" will happen nor that we will escape persecutions.
Jesus teaches that we are not to fear the events and confrontations
occurring while living good and moral lives before the Lord.
Think of the significance of this lesson. A little later Jesus
teaches His disciples not to worry about tomorrow. Matthew records
Jesus' words saying: "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about
your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your
body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body
more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither
sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds
them. Are you not of more value than they? . . . But seek first
the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall
be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own
trouble" (Matt. 6:25-26, 33-34).
What should we learn from Jesus? First, do not fear what men may
do to you - fear God. This does not mean that we should avoid safety
precautions - birds do not purposely go to a feeder while a cat
is nearby. Secondly, do your best today and do not worry about tomorrow
- let God worry about tomorrow. And third, "seek first the kingdom
of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added
Doesn't this lesson express the epitome of Christianity? God desires
His children to be free of worry, satisfied with His blessings,
full of faith, and liberated from fear.