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Summary: One of Jesus’ encouraging messages of faith

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From Fear to Faith

Sunday 12 August, 2001

Introduction

After addressing the crowd which had gathered (v1), and

answering the question of the man who wanted his share of the

family inheritance, Jesus turns to speak to His disciples again.

Verses 32-36 are first of all words of encouragement and teaching

from Jesus on the nature of his kingdom and what sort of people

we ought to be to be in it.

Verses 37-40 is a parable about a man’s servants and how they

ought to act as they await his return.

Words of Faith and Encouragement

v32-36 are words of great encouragement from Jesus:

“Do not be afraid.”

There are so many things in life that can make us fearful, and

that make worry come and haunt us.

Jesus, the Shepherd of the flock speaks to help, to strengthen His

sheep, His flock.

What does Jesus say to the disciples about this?

What introduces us to today’s message, is the middle part of this

chapter: verses 22-31. These words are all about NOT worrying,

but instead being faithful and looking outward to the kingdom of

God.

Faith is the great eternal antidote to fear. So Jesus does not just

say: “Do not worry about that; it will all work out in the end.”

Here is no homespun philosophy, but instead an alternative way

of thinking and practical living.

Jesus calls His people to be people of faith, and their fear will go

away. He says that while faith is present, fear will not bother you

any more. This is because the two cannot co-exist.

In today’s passage, Jesus speaks to the disciples about all the

things they would naturally begin to fret about when they didn’t

have them e.g. food, clothing, the ordinary means of life: v22-23.

For example, when a foreign power came against your city in

those days, the idea was to set siege to the city and starve the

people out.

This was the case with the city of Jerusalem in the days of Jesus,

and the common people were the first to worry because they

were the first to suffer in such circumstances. All very

understandable.

2000 years later, we panic if we THINK that we will not have

enough of the right kind of food, or the right clothes on! Whether

it be shoes or eyeshadow, we can worry unnecessarily.

Jesus says your life consists of more than food and your body of

more than clothing.

Jesus then gives examples of how the Lord provides for

carrion-eating birds, the ravens, and that we are more valued by

God than birds and animals. (An answer to animal rights

extremists, right there.)

Ravens are sometimes pictured as evil birds which pick at the

eyes of evil, dead people (Prov 30:17); or they are seen as helpers,

as desert waiters, in the case of the prophet Elijah, bringing him

food morning and evening. Ravens are also seen as birds that

God feeds, out of His gracious loving care for all His creatures.

(Ps 147:9 )

For us whom God values so much more and provides for every

day, as another passage says:

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (Lk

4:4, Deut 8:3)

And Jesus chose that verse of Scripture when He was starving for

bread in the wilderness!

Just as God provides for the beautiful lilies which do not have to


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