From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Blessed...” (Matthew 6:26)
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Jesus operates with a different understanding of the world than modern man. Can you sense it? Steve Bruce points out that “in response to the Black Death of 1348-50, the church in England called for weeks of prayer and fasting. However, in the 1980s, the church called for more government funding for medical research.” In Jesus’ day, the question was, “Does God care?” In our day, the question is, “Does God exist?” Those are two vastly different questions that have vastly different implications. One leads us to find our fullness outside of us; the other leads us to find our fulness within us. What does our passage say to the modern man?
For one, look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap. Birds were made, and birds are fed. I can honestly say that I have never seen a wild animal starve to death. If we are tempted to blame this phenomenon on natural laws, then we must lift our eyes to the Law Giver. Where most animals are made to look down, human beings were made to look up, yet how often do we choose otherwise? We are often like the dog, whom having a rock thrown at him, barks at the rock instead of the man who threw it. As heaven is greater than earth, so our Father in heaven exercises great care for the earth. “If, besides, we ask the cause which led Him to create all things at one stroke, and to preserve them once they were created,” says Calvin, “we will find no other cause than His goodness which, if it were His only attribute, should be more than enough to draw us to His love.”
For two, look in the mirror. What makes a man to be more value than the profusion of felines in Raymond? What makes man of greater worth than the birds of the air? Man is made in the image of God. Herein lies the great blessing bestowed upon mankind, that we were made fit to be in communion with God. This is a privilege that belongs uniquely to man. Is that important? Well, when you are the only show in town, you have a special value attached to you because of your uniqueness. How much more value do we have as image bearers when compared to the host of angels and animals? If we are of such value, it would be of great consequence if God left His image to destitution and decay; therefore, God immediately announced the promise of restoration to our first parents (Gen. 3:15). The coming of the Son reveals the care of the Father, for the Son took on the likeness of our flesh that the image of God may be restored in us.
Modern man, does God exist? You bear His image, and He manifests Himself in creation, providence, and Christ. But does God care? Enough to offer you what He does not offer to animals nor to angels; He offers you His Son that you may call Him your heavenly Father. Look to Christ created all things, who upholds all things by the word of His power, and rest in your Father’s care.