I read this passage in Matthew whilst thinking about Father's Day, and the love of our Heavenly Father:

At this point in Matthews Gospel Jesus send his disciples out to heal and proclaim that "the kingdom of heaven has come near", God Himself had come to earth and was living among us.

Jesus tells his disciples that proclaiming the good news may not be easy; people may not understand and some will reject them. So, Jesus gives his disciples words of encouragement and reminds them to see God's bigger picture.

3 times Jesus tells them not to be afraid. In vs 26 he says that nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed - God's truth will triumph. Even though not everyone knows Gods message of love now and many reject it, there will be a time when everyone knows it. God is ultimately in control and his love will triumph.

In vs 27 Jesus says "what I tell you in the dark, speak in the light" - as Christians we are in relationship with God and we pray to him. Prayer involves both speaking and listening. Here Jesus is saying that what we learn in the quiet of our own hearts we should share with others - Gods love is not a secret and we should share it. Sometimes this can take courage and Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid, reminding them of Gods big picture of eternal love and glory.

Then Jesus gives 2 wonderful illustrations of Gods care and love for us:

Firstly, though 2 sparrows are sold for a penny, God knows when any sparrow falls to the ground. The greek for 'falls' here doesnt mean 'dies' but when a  bird flies down to hop on the ground. This is a lovely illustration of God's knowledge and involvement in his creation; think how much then God cares for us.

Secondly, Jesus says that God has counted the hairs on our head - God knows us in that detail! And how does that make us feel? precious, valued, cared for, he loves us with the unconditional love of a parent.

Finally, Jesus says that whoever acknowledges him, He will acknowledge before God. This is a promise that Jesus is our loyal and true friend, which gives us courage to proclaim his gospel message that the kingdom of heaven is near: for if we accept Jesus' gift to us of his death and resurrection, and follow him we enter the Kingdom of God NOW. I live in the world and I also live in the Kingdom of God which lasts into heaven and eternity - a kingdom of love.  Cathy