LUKE 12:4-7: “I say to you, my friends, don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will show you the one to fear: Fear him who has authority to throw people into hell after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the one to fear! Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” CSB
OBSERVATION: What is my concept of God? In a class I have taught over the years on the Bible I began with this statement,
“Your concept of the Bible will determine your concept of God. Your concept of God will determine the depth of your faith. The depth of your faith will determine your quality of life.”
In these four verses from the Gospel of Luke we see all of these points in play. Jesus was speaking to those who held the Scriptures to be the Word of God. Yet, He was distinguishing between two concepts of God. One was the Judge of all the earth who held the power to sentence one to eternal damnation. The other was a loving Father who cared for His children, who valued them so much that He counted even the hairs on their head.
Will the real God please stand up?
Without a full revelation of the Word of God our concept of God will be incomplete. If we see the Bible only as a rule book, or as a means to work our way to heaven, then we will see God as the ultimate Judge who is waiting to punish us. Rest assured, He is the Judge of all the earth. And those who refuse His amazing grace will one day meet His divine judgment. It truly is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).
However, this is not the heart of God. If it was, He never would have sent Jesus to take our place on the cross. We were all destined for eternal punishment, yet Jesus took upon Himself the sin of the entire world, and He bore the wrath of God against this sin. This shows the heart of the Father. He loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life (John 3:16).
So, we have a choice in how we approach God. We can approach Him as the Judge we are to fear. Or, we can approach Him as the Father who cares for us more than He cares for the sparrow. The sparrow was sold in the marketplace as food for the poor. It was the least of all food sources. Yet, the Scripture says that the Lord did not forget even one sparrow of His creation. And He does not forget us. He even numbers the hair on our head. In the Old Testament this was viewed as God’s protection. In essence it was proclaiming that nothing could befall one of God’s children apart from His approval and care.
What changes our view of God? It is faith. Faith in Jesus Christ opens up our eyes to the mind and heart of the Father. When we believe in Jesus Christ, when we place our full trust in His atoning sacrifice, when we commit our lives to following Him – the scales of our eyes are removed. We see a loving Father who sent His Son to die in our place. We see a providing Father who meets all of our needs through Christ Jesus. And we see a protecting Father who watches over us just as He watches over the sparrow.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. We can fear God as the Judge of all the earth, or we can reverence God as our Lord and Savior. The first position leaves us in bondage, the latter leads us into His freedom and provision.
Lord, help me to walk in the fear of the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, Healer and Provider, and Soon Coming King!
In Jesus Name!