The passage can be read here.
Some people don’t seem to worry about anything whilst others worry about everything – they can be worried about not having anything to worry about. There are many parts of the world where having enough food for the day is something that fills the minds of a large percentage of the population. Jesus was speaking to a culture where food security was a huge issue and famines were always just a bad harvest away, yet his message was – do not worry.
Yesterday, we saw Jesus deal with the rich who were focused on their money and gave no thought towards God. Today, Jesus addresses the same issue with regard to the poor. Yesterday we saw from Parable of the Sower in Matthew’s Gospel, that the seed that fell amongst thorns was choked by; ‘the deceitfulness of wealth’ (Matthew 13:22). In Luke’s account we read that the seed was; ‘choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures’ (Luke 8:14). So the problem with worry, whether that is worrying about how to make the most of our wealth, as with the rich fool, or worrying where our next meal is coming from, as in today’s passage, is that it will choke the seed of the word of God. It will prevent us from being fruitful and serving God effectively.
Jesus gave his hearers a number of points: Firstly, God is faithful; he knows you need food and clothes, he who feeds the raven and clothes the lilies in such beauty can certainly look after you, it’s a matter of trusting him. Secondly, worry is useless; it achieves nothing positive and only succeeds in taking our eyes from God (v25-26). Thirdly, followers of Jesus are called to be different and not to follow the pattern of those who do not know God (v30). Finally, seek God’s kingdom; gain some perspective, we have to live in the light of eternity. Those who constantly worry about today cannot be focused on the kingdom of God.
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:2-4)
It isn’t difficult to see what Jesus was talking about here. In fact, to break it down into little pieces that can be digested is not rocket science. Applying it however, to live as Jesus instructed us, well that is a lot more difficult. It calls for us to ‘set out minds on things above’ when we often want to set our minds on the things around us. We need the help of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, we need you more each day, help us to fix our eyes on Jesus and to see things as you see them. We thank you that though we fail so often, you still love us and have a great plan for our lives. Thank you Lord for the wonderful promise of Jesus; “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”