Matthew 6:26 – Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? NIV
This question is a continuation of the previous discussion. The premise is: if God takes care of the birds of the air, won’t he take care of you, a human who has more value?
This is an interesting discussion because there are individuals who believe that animals have just as much value as humans. In fact there are people who would not think twice about aborting a human baby and are extremely involved as animal rights activists. I’m not saying that we should be cruel to animals or that God doesn’t care about them; but they are not made in the image of God. The Bible doesn’t indicate that the have souls as humans do.
However, if our loving heavenly Father takes care of them, won’t he certainly provide for humans? Does that mean we won’t have to work? I don’t believe so; because we live in a fallen world. Does that mean we won’t have suffering, drought, or disease? It doesn’t seem to indicate that; but it does give opportunity for the Body of Christ to help and provide for people in those situations. That means that we in the Body of Christ have to be sensitive to the Spirit’s direction and willing to join Jesus in His mission in this world.
This question also introduces the idea of human value, self-worth. Do we as individuals attribute as much worth to ourselves and others as God does? What difference would that make in how we view ourselves and treat others?
# 3. Matthew 6:25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? NIV
The teaching of Jesus that precedes this question is: Matthew 6:24-25 – “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. NIV
Jesus is encouraging his listeners to consider that there is more to life than just material things … the here and now. Humans are given a soul which needs more than physical food. If we limit our goals in life to just feed and cloth our mortal bodies, we have missed much of why God created us. In fact, we are probably not serving Him at all.
Matthew 6:25 – The concepts of life being more than food and the body more than clothing often need to be restructured if readers are to understand what is meant. Some ways will be to say “What is important in life is much more than food,” “There is much more to life than just food,” or “There is much more of importance to life than food.” Similarly the second part may be “There are things more important to our bodies than clothing.”
Of course, any one of these statements can be expressed as a question, as in the text: “Isn’t there more to life than just food?” “Aren’t there things more important to our bodies than clothing?” and so on. (from the UBS New Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies.)
When we limit our worries and thoughts to just the material, we limit what God can do to, in, and through us. We are not serving God. We are merely serving our immediate physical needs. God knows our needs, and he is concerned about us. I don’t think that this means we totally disregard the stewardship of our bodies; but that it is not to be our primary concern. Feeding our soul and clothing it with righteousness is more important.