“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” [Matthew 6:25-26 (NKJV)].
The list of concerns for which many find themselves in a state of mental distraction are all considered “necessities of life”. Therefore, we need to study this passage to correctly discern what Jesus is teaching so that our hearts and lives may be edified.
Let us look at the arguments that Jesus makes against worrying about what we are going to eat, drink, or wear. The first is the need to focus on the greater benefits God has already given to us. Consider that God has given us a human body and breathed into it the breath of life. This is the justification of Jesus’ question in verse 25, “Is not the life more than the food, and the body more than the raiment?” [ASV]
Can we justify doubting that a gracious God, who has already endowed us with such goodness, will hold back his hand from sustaining what He has created in us? To question God’s goodness or intent of goodness is the first step to unbelief, complaint, and stubborn rebellion against God’s will for our lives.
In verse 26 we find a second reason why we should not be anxious about the necessities of life. Jesus points to the birds of the air who do not labor by sowing, reaping, and harvesting in order to survive. Yet, the Creator God has put in motion systems in our universe that provide the birds their food. We would do well to keep in mind that they have to fly from place to place in search of food and even scratch on the ground on occasion in order to find it.
A vital principle of the universe is in these verses. God won’t do for creation what created-beings can do for themselves. Humans can sow, harvest, and store in their granaries. Humans are expected to do whatever they can to sustain themselves.
The birds of the air cannot do what humans can do, but again, whatever is in their power to care for themselves, they are expected to do. And they do not consider the effort they must make to gain their food as work. They do it without anxiety or stress.
The birds of the air and the animals of the fields were created for the service of humans. If God takes care of these lesser animals, can we doubt that God will not do the same for us?
I grew up on a farm. We had cows, horses, pigs, and chickens that we fed and cared for. They, in turn, sustained us with milk, meat, and eggs. While we had to daily take care of these animals, my father would never consider feeding the animals while neglecting to feed his own children. No, he took care of his children and his animals alike. Can we not expect our heavenly Father to care for us with the same faith and trust? That should be the lowest common denominator of faith for the believer.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for Your wisdom in the created universe in which we live. All around we see how You provide for the plants and animals You made. Humans were special; made in Your image. We should find it easier to believe that You provide for our well-being and not allow stress or anxiety to plague our lives. Help us to trust you implicitly and completely. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Pastor Ivan Schwenn – 2020-08-03