09.03.03 Lk. 12:22-34
TRUSTING GOD’S PROVIDENCE
22 Then He said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than the birds? 25 Can any of you add a cubit to his height by worrying? 26 If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! 28 If that’s how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will He do for you — you of little faith? 29 Don’t keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. 30 For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31 “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. 32 Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money-bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“Consider the ravens.” No one ever considered ravens as objects of God’s concern because these birds of prey were considered unclean. Yet this statement could have been a reflection upon Psalm 147:9 and Job 38:41, where young ravens are the subject of God’s care. In essence, Jesus said that if God nurtures such rapacious, unclean birds, then how much more will He nurture you? Jesus then closes His discussion with two rhetorical questions (vv. 25-26): Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Such questions were popular in the first centuries (B.C. and A.D.) between the sages and rabbis.
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” Giving to the poor and other acts of charity were considered acts towards perfection and becoming “fully righteous.” However, by the time of Jesus the latter term included observing the entire Torah. It always played an important function in Jewish piety – and was carried over into Christianity. Rabbi Hillel once said,
The more charity, the more peace.
Mishnah, Aboth 2.7
“No moth destroys.” One method of holding wealth in ancient times was in the form of expensive fabrics and clothing, but these were subject to moth destruction.
. Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus. 127.