For the next few Mondays I am going to have a post illustrating how birds can be our teachers. I have gone to Jesus own words that we all know from the Sermon on the Mount and found that He instructs us all to be bird watchers.
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they”? (Matthew 6:26)
When reading this verse we typically have a single train of thought; probably upon the care that out Lord provides for both the fowl of the air (birds), and us. This is the main focus I believe too. But our Lord has instructed us to watch birds in this passage. He meant more than to only observe them. The Greek verb employed here means “to fix our eyes on or to take a good look at”. This means not only the beauty or peculiarity of the birds themselves, but their behavior as well.
I worked outside all day this past Saturday. The sun was bright and the temperature warm and the wind was blowing some; but my main attraction were the birds. The past couple of years or so I have become a bird watcher. Not one to travel to distant locales to observe rare and exotic ones, not yet anyway. I am still having enjoyment with my local species. My highlight so far this Spring are the 3 nests of bluebirds with eggs. Three out of four nests with babies isn’t bad for a novice. From these three nest we could end up with 45 additional bluebirds around. That will be enjoyable to watch.
The one thing that I have paid attention to of late are the scissor-tailed flycatcher which is Oklahoma’s state bird. We always have some around it seems, especially when mowing. They are very intelligent birds as they perch on anything close, waiting to spot movements of insects as the grass is shortened. With their God-given ability they swoop down and capture their breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack.
Scripture goes even beyond birds and includes every thing God has made.
“The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein” (Psalm 111:2).
Since the works of The Lord refer to His creation, as well as redemption, it seems that we should study both. Many Christians know much of Christ’s redemptive work, but next to nothing of His creative work. I would like to delve into it a bit.
I want to end today with a quote which I found in my study of Martin Luther in his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount:
“You see, He is making the birds our schoolmasters and teachers. It is a great and abiding disgrace to us that in the Gospel a helpless sparrow should become a theologian and a preacher to the wisest of men. We have as many teachers and preachers as there are little birds in the air. Their living example is an embarrassment to us. Whenever you listen to a nightingale, therefore, you are listening to an excellent preacher. It is as if he were saying ” I prefer to be in the Lord’s kitchen. He has made Heaven and earth, and He Himself is the Cook and the Host. Every day He feeds and nourishes innumerable little birds out of His hand”. ( Martin Luther (1521), The Sermon on the Mount, Vol 21 of Luther’s Works, Concordia, 1956 pgs. 197-197)
Until next time,