February 20 I Monday
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” —Matthew 10:29
In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out His disciples with the good news and authority to heal people, cast out demons and raise the dead. Along with it, He also gives a strong warning that they are going to be sheep among wolves, as they would face persecution, hardship, rejection, insults and dangers. Yet, Jesus provides them some comfort and security, saying, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.…So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:28-31).
It is interesting that the metaphor that Jesus uses to encourage His disciples is sparrows, but this is not without reason. Sparrows are migratory birds, which means they can fly thousands of kilometres. When they sense a storm coming, they fall to the ground so that they can endure the storm that is about to pass over. What Jesus is saying in this text is that God’s eyes are on the sparrow and not a single sparrow on the planet falls to the ground outside of our heavenly Father’s gaze. As one could buy two sparrows for a penny, which is like no value, Jesus is making the point that if these relatively worthless creatures in human eyes are cared for by the Father, of how much more worth are we and how much does the Father care about us. He sees everything. Whatever trials or adversity we are facing today, we do not have to be afraid because if He cares for the birds, He cares for us so much more.
Jesus reminds His disciples to focus on eternity and not on the temporary. They can be bold as they go on mission because even if their body is killed, their soul cannot be destroyed. As we study the rest of the New Testament, we find the apostles take this truth to heart. They have internalized the lesson that they do not have to be afraid about what is going to happen, because God is in control of eternity and their life will not end because His eye is on the sparrow.
May our hearts rejoice in this truth as we sing:
Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion; My constant Friend is He; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You that I have no need to fear or to be discouraged as I go declare Your good news to the world. Your eye is on the sparrow and I know You watch over me. Amen!