19 Feb The Fifth Sparrow
I used to be a pretty avid coin collector. I loved old coins and currency. At one time I had several gold and silver certificate one dollar bills. You won’t find these anymore in the normal circulation of money because they are past the allowable age of money set by the U.S. Government. The unique thing about these bills is that they were actually backed by gold and silver which means in those days you could take a one dollar bill into the bank and exchange it for a dollar’s worth of silver or gold. Years ago, our money was backed by an equal amount of these precious metals, but over the years the printing of money and the world money market has changed. Today if I were to try and make this same exchange, I would receive less than 70 cents for the same dollar bill.
Value is also different in the eyes of people. I might have something that’s priceless to me, but is insignificant to others. If I wanted to sell that item, I would have to find someone who would place the same value on it as I do. Unfortunately, this is a hard thing to do today. Everyone is trying to get the best deal they can on everything and we try to “nickel and dime” each other to get that deal. It wasn’t that much different in Jesus’ day. The temple money exchangers and sellers of the animal sacrifices would change the value of money and animals to line their pockets. Jesus in Matthew 10:29-32 teaches this to the crowd: “29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven”. And again, in Luke 12:6-7 He takes it even further: “6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” In these two passages, Jesus is showing us that the value the world places on things does not add up to the value He places on things. The sparrow held little to no value in the world sacrifices and only the very poor bought them because they could not afford the choice lambs. In Luke we see that the seller threw in an extra sparrow just to make the sell. God, however, has a different value scale. He says that even the sparrows are of value to Him. But even more than the value of the sparrow, those who have been cast out as worthless by society, are priceless in the sight of God. He has “numbered the hairs on our head”, “knitted us together in our mother’s womb”. Then in 1 John 4:10 we see just how valuable we (you and I) are to God: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
The world (us) places value on many things, even on each other. Our value is dependent on our abilities, our looks, our family line, etc., but God says that even the lowest, according to worldly standards, are valuable to Him and He cares for each of us equally so we in turn should do the same. As spring arrives and the world bustles with fresh fields of flowers and new life, take a moment and remember how valued you are. Listen to the voice of God, not the lies of the world. You are dearly and deeply loved by the God of all creation.