In the Fulness of Time/Part 63
|By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2007|
|Fear not! If God knows when a sparrow falls, if God knows how many hairs you have on your head, it’s reasonable to assume He knows—and cares—about you.|
Fear Not: God Exercises Providence. Matthew 10:29-31
- Matthew 10:29-21 “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
Luke 12:6 states that, “five sparrows are sold for two farthings.” The farthing was the smallest coin then in use, probably close in value to the American cent. Two farthings would purchase an extra sparrow, yet not even one sparrow can fall without the notice of the Father in heaven. The next illustration of God’s providential care concerns each hair of our heads. It has been noted that the average head of hair consists of 140,000 strands. Each one of these has its very own number; thus, God’s providence is infinite. The conclusion: since God remembers each sparrow, “not one of them is forgotten before God” (Luke 6:26), and even counts each hair, His messengers need have no fear, for they are of more value than many sparrows!
It is of real comfort to know that God remembers us. We are further assured of this with regard to the ministries He accords to us: “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shown toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10). In the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi 3:16 gives assurance that, “a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD and thought upon his name.” First Peter 5:7 adds, “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.” Finally, in a parallel to Matthew 6:33, Luke 12:32 adds, “Fear not little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
His Challenges. Matthew 10:32-39
Along with the three comforts, Jesus now presents three couplets of contrasts, designed to emphasize the responsibility of the disciples.
Confess or Deny: The Challenge of Decision. Matthew 10: 32-33
- Matthew 10:32-33 “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, who is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus gave a challenge similar to this in 7:21-23, only there it had to do with false confession: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Then He went on to describe false works done in His name and concluded, “Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity.” Here in 10:32-33 the challenge is for the true disciple to confess Him before men as a proof of their salvation. Mark 8:28 gives the denial aspect and adds more of a time sequence: “Of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels.”
The Greek word for “confess” is homologeo which means in this context, to acknowledge Christ as Messiah, to endorse His claims as the Son of God, to declare agreement with His program of the Kingdom of Heaven, and to adhere personally to Him, as their King. All of this is to be proclaimed publicly “before men.” For a Jew to confess Christ in this way would be to suffer willingly all the mocking and hostility mentioned in 10:24-31. To take the contrary path of denial is to invite the inevitable judgment of the Son of Man, since the Father “hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man” (John 5:27). The decision is in either direction; it is the responsibility of the individual, and, “in the fulness of time,” it will be shown that the consequences are eternal!