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Ravens and Lilies

April 27, 2010

Reference:  Luke 12:22-34

Consider the Ravens                      

Luke 12:24 “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

Ravens are scavengers.  God forbade the consumption of them in Leviticus.  Some people have surmised that ravens were to the people in Jesus’ time what pigeons are to us:  a bit of a nuisance.  They are very common and not really the most “glamorous” of God’s avian creations.  So when Jesus said, “Consider the ravens”, He was saying, “If I take care of these common, unclean birds, how you can doubt that am I going to take care of you?”

Consider the Lilies                     

Then Jesus goes on to say in Luke 12:27-28 “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all His splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you…”

Lilies are arguably one of the most beautiful flowers.  There are over 100 different types of lilies.  They are brilliantly colored and extremely fragrant.  Even Solomon dressed in his royal robes did not possess the beauty that these flowers do.  When Jesus said, “Consider the lilies”, he was saying, “Look at this gorgeous flowers!  They are nothing compared to the beauty in which I will clothe you.”

O You of Little Faith!

Many people will point to this passage to show the great value that we are to God.  That is true; Jesus does a great job of illustrating our worth.  But this passage is more than just a “feel good self-confidence booster”.  This is some not-so gentle chastisement from our Savior.  “O you of little faith!” is not a cute little reminder of how awesome we are.  It is a rebuke.  It is a “Come on!  I know you can do better!” from Jesus.

I love how Jesus communicates in this passage.  He understands the necessity of encouragement, but does not hesitate to throw in some finger wagging.  He doesn’t tippy-toe over the issue.  He addresses it and the follows it up with reassurance:  Stop worrying, you can’t change anything by worrying.  Don’t be like the world that has no hope in Me.  Stop having such little faith in Me.  But don’t fear or feel badly about what I am saying because it is My pleasure to take care of you.

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