Everybody likes a bargain. Sales, buy-one-get-one-free, discounts and so on. In Jesus’ time too there were bargains to be had. Two sparrows were sold at a very low price – a penny. But Jesus tells his listeners ‘Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?’ (Luke 12:6). In others words, you pay for four and get one free – the bargain bird!
But what’s the point? The Lord says ‘yet not one of them is forgotten by God’. If God cares about what seems so insignificant, how much more does He care for us ‘who are worth more than many sparrows’ (Luke 12:7).
So Jesus tells us not to be afraid, to have faith. This is not a passive, fatalist ‘che sara sara’ attitude but an active trust in our Heavenly Father. He is not ‘Uncle God’ but ‘Father God’. His love is compassionate and merciful but also demanding. Uncles tend to be more indulgent with their nephews than fathers who must show love and also discipline. But this is where our security lies – in a God who is so close to us that He knows the very number of hairs on our head. Our God is committed to giving us the grace to grow into freedom and wholeness as His sons and daughters and He doesn’t give up on you and me.
What we need to do is not to try and bargain with God and settle down for a ‘discounted discipleship’ ie. a not-too-bad selfishness. The cost of following Jesus and carrying our cross is not subject to price cuts. He invites us to wholeheartedness. He did not give us the leftovers, but He gave us His very self, the amazingly free gift of His love. And He who gave us His Son, ‘will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?’ Rom 8:32. He most certainly will!
Why not turn to Him in prayer now. If He is attentive to the ‘bargain bird’ which falls to the ground (Matt 10:29) how much more attentive is He to the cry of our heart.