June 15 | Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 1-3; Acts 2:1-21
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
READ MATTHEW 10:16–20, 26–31
Thwack! I looked up and craned my ear toward the sound. Spotting a smudge on the windowpane, I peered out onto the deck and discovered the still-beating body of a bird. My heart hurt. I longed to help the fragile feathered being.
In Matthew 10, Jesus described His Father’s care for sparrows in order to comfort the disciples as He warned of upcoming dangers. He offered instructions to the twelve as He “gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (v. 1). While the power to do such deeds might have seemed grand to the disciples, many would oppose them, including governing authorities, their own families, and the ensnaring grip of the evil one (vv. 16-28).
Then in 10:29-31, Jesus told them not to fear whatever they faced because they would never be out of their Father’s care. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?” He asked. “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. . . . So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
I checked on the bird throughout the day, each time finding it alive but unmoved. Then, late into the evening, it was gone. I prayed it had survived. Surely, if I cared this much about the bird, God cared even more. Imagine how much He cares for you and me!
By Elisa Morgan
REFLECT & PRAY
Dear Father, thank You for always watching over and caring for me.
How have you seen God care for you in the past? How can you gain courage for all you face by understanding that you’re never outside your Father’s care?
Matthew 10:2-4 lists the names of the twelve disciples who’d be trained to carry the work of the gospel forward. Each of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) has such a list. The names aren’t always in the same order, but they always appear in three groups of four, and the names in each group are the same in each list (see Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16). The remainder of Matthew 10 consists of Jesus preparing these disciples for their first outreach trip. This preparation readied them for two things: the opportunities to impact people through the power of Christ and the reality of opposition to the work of Christ.