Week 16, Day 3
Week 16, Day 3
April 20, 2022
Scripture: Matthew 10
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29–31)
““Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37–38)
There is both the most comforting of verses in Matthew 10, and one of the more troubling. I’ve shared them above. The comforting passage is the reminder that God not only knows the number of hairs on our head (insert bald joke here) but he cares deeply for us. We have no reason to fear, we are loved and treasured by God.
Moments later though, we are told, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me…” Yikes!
Separated from its context and purpose we might think Jesus is a hard dictator of a leader. But holding these two tensions in their proper balance we see something beautiful.
You can trust that Jesus loves you and cares deeply for you. Just as the Father cares for the sparrows, consider how he will care for his children. Consider how he will care for you, his child.
I need this encouragement, because it is often difficult to have courage and take up the cross. It can be difficult to join the disciples in the mission of God. I can be crippled by the unknown, fear over the uncertainties of life. I don’t know that I always get my priorities and heart in the order Jesus prescribes here.
But to those who will lose their life, find it in Jesus.
Lay it down, and trust that he will not let you fall outside of his care.
I can lay it down, with a little more confidence and courage when I balance it with knowing that the one I lay my life down for will also be the one who picks me up and cares for me.
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Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.