“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them falls to the groung apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are numbered. Fear not, therefore, you are worth more than sparrows.” –Jesus (Matthew 10:29-31)
When many people read this, they have sort of a “Chicken Soup for The Soul” moment where they feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but I’m not sure that fits the context of this verse.
Jesus is talking here to the twelve apostles sending them out as “sheep among wolves” to preach the good news. Jesus is not just telling them to feel good about themselves that their hairs are numbered but warning them that they will be persecuted for their faith and to not fear for he has them.
Sometimes, when I read the gospels and the letters to the churches I get caught up in the fact that those must have been crazy times. It was the beginning of the Church and lots of crazy things were happening. But somehow, many of us resigned to the fact that God doesn’t move anymore like that and times are different. But I would argue that God still does move like that and these times are just as desperate if not more so as in many ways the Church is re-forming or is in desperate need to re-establish herself.
Nothing has really changed. Jesus is still sending us out to spread the news that His kingdom is at hand. When Jesus is saying, “Do not fear,” He is assuming we will be on the front lines, putting our lives and our reputations on the line for Him.
The problem is we live in a Christian culture that is pretty “easy.” No one really expects anyone to share their faith because no one else really does. We are not in threat of having our heads chopped off here or even put in jail yet somehow we hold back from sharing the gospel to our friends who are in desperate need of Jesus. Most of us sit at home and read this verse and feel all warm and fuzzy inside and that’s as far as it goes–we keep it inside.
Spend some time in prayer. Ask the Lord to show you how you have “quarantined” your faith. Ask him to give you the courage to step out and share your faith. Ask him to put in front of you a person who needs to hear the good news.
This is the perfect time to call your non-believing friends and ask how they are doing. It won’t take long before they will talk about the struggle. Don’t be afraid to share the good news of Jesus with them: how there is hope for them yet! Make it a goal to share your faith with someone this week. You can do it! Use these verses as they were intended–to give you courage to get out there.