|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:1-12 A firm belief of the doctrine of God's universal providence, and the extent of it, would satisfy us when in peril, and encourage us to trust God in the way of duty. Providence takes notice of the meanest creatures, even of the sparrows, and therefore of the smallest interests of the disciples of Christ. Those who confess Christ now, shall be owned by him in the great day, before the angels of God. To deter us from denying Christ, and deserting his truths and ways, we are here assured that those who deny Christ, though they may thus save life itself, and though they may gain a kingdom by it, will be great losers at last; for Christ will not know them, will not own them, nor show them favour. But let no trembling, penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is far different from the determined enmity that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, because it will never be repented of.
Verses 6, 7. - Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Though persecution and bitter suffering, even death, may be the guerdon of the Lord's true servants here, none of these things can happen without the consent of God. This thought will surely give them courage to endure. Suffering undergone in God's service, inflicted, too, with his entire consent, so that the suffering becomes part of the service, - what an onlook is afforded to the brave, faithful servant by such a contemplation! Oh the welcome from God he is sure to meet with when such a death has been endured! These extreme instances of God's universal care - his all-knowledge of everything, however little and insignificant, belonging to his creatures - are chosen to give point to the Master's words. If he knows of the death of these little, almost valueless, birds - ay, even of the falling of one of the many hairs of your head - surely you cannot doubt his knowledge of, his caring for, the life or death of one of his proved and gallant followers. These little sparrows were sold in the markets, strung together, or on skewers.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings,.... As two were sold for one farthing; see Gill on Matthew 10:29; so in buying and selling, where more money is laid out, things are bought cheaper; the Persic version reads, "for two barley corns":
and not one of them is forgotten before God; a single sparrow, a bird of little value and worth, is taken notice and care of by him; it has its life from him, and is provided for with food by him, and is under his protection; nor does he ever forget it, nor can any thing be done to it, without his permission; it cannot be struck, so as to cause it to fall on the ground, or be taken in a snare, or be killed in any shape, without the knowledge of God: his providence reaches to the minutest creatures and things, and much more then to rational creatures, to men; and still more to his dear children, ministers, and apostles.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6, 7. five … for two farthings—In Mt 10:29 it is "two for one farthing"; so if one took two farthings' worth, he got one in addition—of such small value were they.
than many sparrows—not "than millions of sparrows"; the charm and power of our Lord's teaching is very much in this simplicity.
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