Our Father knows and cares
Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. Mt. 6:32
The believer is cared for by a loving Father, who is the Sovereign of the universe. He is the one “whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:34-35). Do you believe that? You cannot believe that and at the same time be gripped by worry. It is because we let our circumstances preach to us instead of God’s truth that we become anxious.
Verse 32 points us back to verse 31 as an underlying reason for the conclusion our Lord is pressing upon us. Why should we not care about food and clothing? It is: “for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” There is deep meaning in almost every word in this verse. The fact that our Lord describes the Father with the word “heavenly” is meant to remind us that God’s rule is all-encompassing, that he is in control. We have no need to worry that anything could ever happen to us that is too big for God to handle.
And the entire sixth chapter is about the relationship of the disciple of Jesus to God as Father. God is our Father. Of course, this is not about the universal Fatherhood of God. These words are not meant to comfort everyone. They belong to those who follow Jesus. Those who received him are given the right to become the sons of God (Jn. 1:12). But if we have received Jesus as Lord and Savior, and thus relate to God as Father, we have no need to wonder if he will take care of us. It’s not as if he can deliver us but just doesn’t want to. No, he loves his children, and he is the perfect Father.
He knows our needs. Now this is not just a bare knowledge; it is the knowledge of love and intimacy. God intimately knows our needs. In fact, our Lord says, he knows all our needs. So why should we worry? Our trust is in God who is also our Father, and he is powerful, loving, and all knowing.
And it underlines again the fact that God’s concern for us extends to present needs. Do we believe that? Of course it doesn’t mean that life will be all roses, but it does mean that he will never leave us or forsake us, and that even behind our trials stands God’s good purpose. I love the picture given in Mark 4:35-41. There the disciples and Jesus are in a ship on the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus is asleep. “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.” The ship was clearly in danger of sinking and there was Jesus asleep. Or so it seemed. They go to him, and awaken him with the expostulation: “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Then “he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” His question clearly implies that they should never have doubted even for a minute that he would take care of them – even though he was asleep. Their fear was unjustified, even though they had been in a terrible storm and it didn’t seem like he was aware of the situation. But of course he was. They were never in any real danger. In the same way, our Lord has promised to be with us, as truly as he was in the boat with the apostles. And “when the storms of life are raging” and it seems like Jesus is in the back of the boat asleep, let us hear his words: “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”