We South Africans are anxious about many things. I think anti-depressants are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in our country. We are anxious about the future, our jobs, the crime rate, our retirement, our bank balance, our politics, our relationship or lack or relationships, and the list goes on.
In v4-5 Jesus says: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell.” IOW Jesus says that you should fear the right thing, God. Fearing the right thing will prevent you from fearing the wrong things. Remember that God is big and people are small.
In v6-7 Jesus says: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God…Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Jews needed to buy animals for sacrifice at the temple. The law made a provision for the poorest of the poor to sacrifice birds. One penny could buy you two sparrows (Matthew 10:29) or two pennies could buy you five sparrows (v6). The fifth, extra sparrow was thrown in for free; it was “worthless”; it was of no value. Jesus says that if God cares for that odd sparrow, how much more will he care his people?
3. God knows
In v29-30 Jesus says: “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.”
Those people who are not saved by God and do not follow Jesus are generally obsessed with meeting their perceived needs. Of course, this is understandable if you consider this world to be all there is. Jesus says that our lives should not be obsessed with our material needs because, quite simply, God knows. God is Sovereign. God cares for his people. God knows.
The command to “not be anxious” is directed to those who are following Jesus, those you are seeking first God’s Kingdom. What are you anxious about right now? Don’t be anxious; God is big, he cares, he knows.