[Jesus said] What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without the knowledge and consent of your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows. “Everyone who confesses me before others, I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before others, I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Dear Lord Jesus,
These words that are before us today were a part of the instructions you gave to the 72 as you sent them out on their first missions. These words tell us how essential each of us is to you. Our sinful natures would like to tell us how worthless we are, but you see our souls. This reason is why you came here because in every person there is value. You compared our worth to a sparrow. Even tiny birds have value and are sold at a price, and we are more valuable than any birds. Sin’s price on our souls was a death, and you paid that price with your suffering and death on the cross. So how important are we? So much that the Father knows our every move. He knows so much about us that our hairs are numbered, and he will not allow one to fall out without his ok.
So then what then can the world do to me? It can rail against me because I trust in you, it can chide me because of my faith, and it could even kill this body because I believe you have saved me. So the world’s threats can no longer cause intimidation but a promise’s fulfillment. So should the world kill this body; my spirit will be with you forever through your grace.
Through faith in the forgiveness you won for me, I have the promise of salvation. And as you told your disciples, we are worth more than sparrows. You did not give your life for them; you gave it for our souls. Through faith started by your Spirit, I know I am redeemed. This faith needs to be fed with your word and sacraments; if not, it can slip away, and this was your warning to your disciples. Without faith and trust, the gift you won for us means nothing; heaven is lost for those who do not believe or reject your word. It is through faith we are saved and confess you. Strengthen our faith so we can tell others about the forgiveness you have won for them and how heaven is already theirs through faith as well. Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
You are so valuable that God himself left heaven to become a person, then died for you so you would have eternal life.