Contemplating the Gospel: Consider the lilies of the field

Matthew 6:26-30 - "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?" (RSV)

Trust in the Lord - Jesus teaches us to trust in God our Father at all times and in all circumstances. St John Chrysostom, in his commentary on Matthew, speaks to us about the meaning of the images used in this passage. Just when the lilies of the field are all decked out Jesus no longer calls them lilies but “grass of the field.” He then points further to their vulnerable condition by saying “which are here today.” Then He does not merely say “and not tomorrow” but rather more callously “cast into the oven”. These creatures are not merely “clothed” but “so clothed” in this way as to be later brought to nothing.

Do you see how Jesus everywhere abounds in amplifications and intensifications? He does so in order to press home his point. Then He adds, “Will he not much more clothe you?” The force of the emphasis is on “you” to indicate covertly how great is the value set upon your personal existence and the concern God shows for you in particular. It is as though He were saying, “You, to whom He gave a soul, for whom He fashioned a body, for whose sake He made everything in creation, for whose sake He sent prophets, and gave the law, and wrought those innumerable good works, and for whose sake he gave up his only begotten Son.” This is a powerful message.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

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