Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?…
Our Lord, while instructing and preparing His disciples for future work as heralds of the kingdom, warns them that they will meet with many dangers and enemies; "but fear not," says the Master, "you are watched at every step, and come life, come death, you are safe."
I. MAN'S FEARS. They are of two kinds —
1. Those which respect this world. Some people go through life much more anxiously than others, though in outward circumstances there seems little difference in their respective lots. A good deal depends upon a man's temperament as to the way in which he will take things. Those on the lower ground have the least care. As we rise higher in the social scale, then it brings increasing solicitude. Provision has to be made not only for the wants of the day, but for appearances. It is right enough that men should look to appearances. God looks to appearances. He has made this world-house beautiful, and we are but following the Divine example when we try to make our life a thing of variety, largeness, and grace. But in doing so, the gates of anxiety are opened to us, and we are careful and troubled.
2. Fears respecting the world to come and our spiritual state and relation to that. The fullest victory over the cares and fears of this life is to be gained only by living for a higher world. Let us try to see Jesus standing as Lord of both worlds, and saying, "Fear not."
II. THE DIVINE DISSUASIVE. "Fear not." This is supported and recommended by several arguments, as the limited power of man and of circumstances. Men may say and do a great deal which may be injurious to you, but you always come to the limit: "After that, there is nothing more they can do. Again, there is unlimited power with God, and if we are true trusting disciples of Christ this is a great dissuasive from fear. God will use all that infinite power to protect and save His trusting children. "He telleth the number of the stars," and has regard to every sparrow that flies. Why should we fear? Then our Lord teaches us that we are of more value to God than the inferior creatures. He has a higher care about us.
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?