“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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 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?
The most important word to aid understanding of this passage is the first one, “Therefore…” So let’s back up a little and get an overview of the preceding section.
The context has to do with putting our emphasis on heavenly treasures and not, earthly treasures which moths and vermin destroy. It’s also in this passage that Jesus tells us we’re to serve God and not money.
The context then has to do with the priorities of God’s people. And to establish those priorities we must consider the big picture, from Jesus’ heavenly perspective.
We become entangled in the daily routine of doing and getting stuff. “What are we going to eat for dinner? Shall we eat out or try to find something at home? Can we really afford to eat out? Johnny has ball practice tonight, maybe we should get a hotdog at the ballpark. Don’t forget your dentist appointment. I’ve got to get my prescription filled today before I run out.” Like I said. Lots of stuff.
Then disaster strikes. Your receive word that your spouse had a heart attack at work and died. In an instant, stuff doesn’t matter. Just that one BIG thing. Your perspective was instantly changed.
I recall visiting in the home of a family that had dropped out of church. They said they didn’t have a reason, other than they had just gotten too busy with stuff. Husband and wife both worked and their daughter was a high school cheerleader.
A short time later, the family showed up for our morning service and after it was over they asked if I could meet with them. That’s when I found out the woman had breast cancer. A month later, she died.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that failure to attend church resulted in this crisis. Suddenly, this family was reminded of what REALLY matters in life. They needed God. The frightening diagnosis changed their perspective. Our top priority should be a right and ongoing relationship with our heavenly Father.
That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “… do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
And He didn’t say we shouldn’t be concerned about stuff. Just don’t worry about it. Don’t get so wrapped up in earthly pursuits that you neglect the main thing, your relationship with God. Keep the main thing — the main thing.
Jesus teaches us that God isn’t just concerned about the hereafter, but also the here and now. “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?” (v26)
I’ve never met anybody who didn’t worry. And like I’ve said before, not all worry is bad, just the kind that debilitates us and consumes our minds like a cancer. Such excessive worry relies on human effort and fails to trust God.
Have you ever experienced the peace that surpasses all understanding? In Philippians 4:7, Paul writes, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I’ve never been in the eye of a hurricane. Let’s hope that never happens. But I’ve been told that within the eye of the storm there is calm. It’s like when Jesus said to the storm, “Peace, be still!”(Mk 4:39)
Get that heavenly relationship right and trust God to take care of you. Don’t get so caught up in daily stuff that you miss the big picture.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Your Amazing Victory in Jesus
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.