The Miracle of the Little Sparrow

Matthew 10:29-31

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Jesus told His followers in Matthew 10:29 through 31 to remember what He was about to say when they experienced hard times because they were bearing witness to their Lord:

     “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of 
     them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But 
     the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear 
     therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

It is an argument from the lesser to the greater:

  • While not worthless, sparrows were not highly valued at all by the Jews. The copper coin referenced here was of small value, about one and a half cents in modern U.S. Money. Why and how were sparrows sold? Here is an entry from the Biblical Illustrator:
     At present day the markets of Jerusalem and Jaffa are at-
     tended by many fowlers, who offer for sale long stings of 
     little birds of various species, chiefly sparrows, wag-
     tails, and larks. These are also frequently sold, ready 
     plucked, trussed in rows of about a dozen on slender wood-
     en skewers. (H. B. Tristam, LL. D.). 

Note: Henry Baker Tristam was an English Clergyman, naturalist, ornithologist (one specializing in the study of birds), world traveler (visiting the Holy Lands several times between 1858 and 1881), and author of many books. Having thrice been through the markets of Old Jerusalem myself, I have never seen skewers of small birds for sale in these modern days!

  • God is omniscient! This means that He is fully aware of everything that happens, has happened, or is going to happen – concerning the smallest creature to the crown of His creation – human beings! So what Jesus said in Matthew 10:29 about sparrows is entirely true: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And one of them will not fall to the ground without the knowledge and consent of your Father.” (Lexham English Bible).
  • …the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Luke 10:30). God knows every intimate detail concerning you and me! The interesting thing about the hair on your head is that the number of hairs changes every day! Some fall out, some grow in! Yet God keeps the exact tally! This intimate knowledge of everything about you…
    ✞   ...should be of great comfort to the Christian! 
        Our sins are forgiven, we are accepted by the 
        Lord, and we have eternal life.

    ✞   ...should scare you to the core if you have not 
        accepted Jesus as your Savior! For one sinful 
        thought, word, or deed makes you a sinner, and 
        sinners ...will have their [eternal] part in 
        the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, 
        which is the second death...”! (Revelation 21:8).
  • Being God’s highest creation, made in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26, 27), we are of infinite value to Him! So if His knowledge and consent surround a fallen sparrow, “Do not fear…you are of more value than many sparrows.” How valuable are we to God? He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sin and to reclaim us to Himself in love! (see John 3:16; II Corinthians 5:21, I Peter 2:24; I John 4:9, 10).

This is just an introduction to The Miracle of the Little Sparrow! This miracle happened to me when I was rebuilding a house dating back to 1904. I and my good friend Frank gutted the house and we rebuilt it from the foundation up. To house all the tools, lumber and supplies that we would need in this years-long process, I purchased an old coal mine company store, two doors down from the house. It was a large building, and walking in through the double front doors, one entered a huge room, about forty feet wide, sixty feet long, with fifteen-foot ceilings – the largest room of the store. In that room I stored not only building supplies, but furniture, rolled-up carpets, appliances, etc. – anything that would be needed to finish and furnish the house!

One day I entered the store to retrieve some supplies. My attention was taken by a little sparrow fluttering against one of the large front windows, vainly trying to get out! The little bird had gotten in somehow but couldn’t escape. My heart went out to this creature as it fluttered against the glass. I prayed, “Lord, how am I going to get this bird out and free?” Finally, the sparrow, out of energy, landed on the corner of a piece of low furniture. I could see its tiny chest heaving as it was breathing heavily after so much exertion. It would sooner or later die from its futile efforts! I prayed again: “Lord, according to tradition, Saint Francis of Assisi was so gentle and in tune with nature, animals and birds in the wild would readily approach him! Will you help me now with this bird?

  • I then extended my hand with my index finger pointing out, and I slowly walked towards the little sparrow. It didn’t move!
  • When my hand was about six inches from the sparrow, It hopped on my extended finger! I could feel its little claws gripping the skin of my finger!
  • I slowly carried that precious cargo to the front door. When I was at the open door, the little sparrow flew off to freedom!

Now a wild bird will not allow a human being to approach it like this sparrow did with me. And certainly, a wild bird will not hop on an extended finger and be carried across the room to an open door! But God was involved! And since He knew the dilemma that tiny creature was in, the Heavenly Father interceded with a miracle!

Was it a small miracle? Maybe it was small compared to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea on dry land! (see Exodus 14:21-31). But it was a big miracle to me! When I call to mind what happened that day, I can still feel those tiny claws gripping my finger!

And I know without a doubt…
God takes care of even a little sparrow!
And God will take care of me!