“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
In this life it is so easy to fall into fear. To fear the loss of our job, the loss of our home, even the loss of our life. We can become surrounded by these fears, this uncertainty. So, what are we to do? Hear the words of our Lord: “Fear not.” We are to not live in fear, brothers and sisters. Why? Because of two reasons: (1) God is in control and (2) God declares us valuable.
Jesus is at the height of his teaching ministry when he comforts his disciples with these words. He has just been confronted by the Pharisees, and they continue to plot against him and his teaching (Luke 11:53–54). People, however, are flocking to him, and these growing crowds along with the growing opposition are apparently leading to growing anxiety among his followers. But Jesus tells his disciples, “Fear not.” Why?
First, Jesus tells His disciples not to fear because God is in control. All throughout the Bible, we read of this truth – of the all-pervasive sovereignty of God. Job teaches us the sovereignty of God in all situations, over all things (Job 42:22). In Proverbs, King Solomon tells us that there is no such thing as chance, but instead, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” (Prov. 16:33). And Paul, when affirming the deity of Christ, describes his sovereignty as the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:16–17). Scripture makes it clear—God is in control.
So, what do we do with this truth? We do not fear. We know that God, our Father in Christ, is firmly in control over all things. We rest in this wonderful truth. And note the way Jesus tells us not to fear: this is not a commanding, demand of response. No, he prefaces his call to fearlessness with a description of the sweet care God has for his creatures. He knows every bird, despite their lack of value. And he knows
exactly how many hairs are on your head. Fear not, for God is in control and he knows you – your fears, your situation, and your doubt.
Second, Jesus tells his disciples to not fear because God declares us valuable. Jesus explains that God cares for all creatures, even the sparrows worth only a couple pennies. Why is Jesus telling us about birds? Because he wants us to see: if God remembers even the worthless birds, how much more do you think he will remember you in your pain, fear, and anxiety? “You are more valuable than many sparrows.” You are precious to God.
Man is the only creature made in God’s own image (Genesis 1:26). Therefore, our value is given to us from creation. So in anxious, fearful, and uncertain times we should remember that all mankind is made in the image of God and deserves, compassion, respect, and dignity.
Our value in God’s sight is seen not only in our being made in his image, but also in the price God was willing to pay to rescue us. The length to which God went to save us loudly declares how precious those in Christ are to God! John 3:16 tells us that God’s love for us is seen in the fact that he sent his only Son to die for us. Paul explains, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Friends, for those in Christ, this declaration of our value should settle our fears. Our Savior, Jesus – the One who came to die for us – reminds us that we are valuable to God. So draw near to him. Come to your Savior. Hear his tender words and his gentle command: “Fear not!”