Luke 12:6, 7
“OUR hearts may condemn us.” With those words, the Bible acknowledges that at times our heart may cause us to be overly critical of ourselves. Indeed, it may insist that we are unworthy of God’s love and care. Yet, the Bible reassures us: “God is greater than our hearts and knows all things.” (1 John 3:19, 20) God knows us better than we know ourselves. His view of us may be very different from the way we view ourselves. What, then, are we worth in the eyes of the one who really matters—Jehovah God? The answer can be found in a touching illustration that Jesus used on two separate occasions.
On one occasion, Jesus said that “two sparrows sell for a coin of small value.” (Matthew 10:29, 31) According to Luke 12:6, 7, Jesus also said: “Five sparrows sell for two coins of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them goes forgotten before God. . . . Have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.” This simple but powerful illustration teaches us how Jehovah views each of his worshippers.
Sparrows were among the cheapest of all birds used for food. Jesus had no doubt observed poor women—perhaps even his own mother—in the marketplace buying these tiny birds to feed their family. For one assarion, a coin worth less than five cents in modern values, a buyer could purchase two sparrows. These birds were so inexpensive that for two coins, the buyer received not four but five sparrows, an extra one being included at no additional charge.
Jesus explained that not a single sparrow “goes forgotten before God” or falls “to the ground without” the Father’s knowledge. (Matthew 10:29) Jehovah notices each time a sparrow falls to the earth perhaps because it is injured or alights on the ground in search of food. The seemingly insignificant birds that were not too little for Jehovah to create are not too little for him to remember. In fact, he values them, for they are precious living things. Do you see the point of Jesus’ illustration?
In his teaching, Jesus often used contrasts, reasoning from the lesser to the greater. For example, Jesus also said: “Ravens neither sow seed nor reap, and they have neither barn nor storehouse, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more worth are you than birds?” (Luke 12:24) Now the point of Jesus’ words about the sparrows becomes clear: If Jehovah cares for these tiny birds, how much more will he care for humans who love and worship him!
In light of Jesus’ words, we need not feel that we are too unworthy to be noticed and cared for by the God who “is greater than our hearts.” Is it not comforting to know that our Creator may see in us what we may be unable to see in ourselves?