The Sparrow


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  – Matthew 10:29-31 (ESV)

sparrowThis has always been one of my favorite verses from the Bible. In this passage, Jesus is preparing to send His disciples out. He has given them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction (Matthew 10:1). He has charged them to proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 10:7).

Jesus goes on to tell His disciples that He is sending them out as sheep among wolves (Matthew 10:16). He tells them that they will be arrested, stand trial, and be flogged with whips (Matthew 10:17-18). They will be hated by all the nations (Matthew 10:22).

The disciples must have felt alone, anxious, and afraid as Jesus told them these things. But Jesus’ very next promise to His disciples is to fear not. And He gives this beautiful illustration of why using the sparrow.

I can look out the window right now and watch the sparrows as they land and take off from my yard. I barely take notice of this tiny creature as I go about my day. But this tiny creature does not go unnoticed by our Creator; not even one can fall apart from the Father. The bible tells us that, all things were created through Him (Colossians 1:16). The sparrow is God’s creation. He knows all its tiny parts. The tiny sparrow is valuable to Him.

Do you feel valuable? Dishes, laundry, dirty diapers, criticism from your boss about the project you worked so hard on, one student in class of one hundred, sickness. All of these can make us feel alone, anxious, afraid. Much like the disciples must have felt in Matthew 10.

When we start to feel this way, we should look at the sparrow. Let the sparrow remind us of Jesus’ sweet, loving words, But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:30-31).

Friend, you are valuable! The same God who created the sparrow created you! And just as He knows each tiny part of the sparrow, He knows every tiny part of you. Ephesians 2:10a tells us, “For we are God’s workmanship.” And I have to tell you something amazing I recently learned about this verse from Wendy Blight’s book, I Know His Name. The Greek word for workmanship is poiema, which means “a product,” something created from scratch (Blight, 21). Don’t miss this: God created you from scratch! Yes, He knows the very number of hairs on your head because He made you from scratch! Knowing this helps me to fear not. I can replace feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and fear with love; His perfect, overwhelming love for me.

I recently heard this song, Sparrows by Jason Gray. I hope you will take time to listen to this song and reflect on Jesus’ words from Matthew 10. He loves you. He values you. So, fear not.