Matthew 6:26 Meaning of Look at the Birds of the Air

Matthew 6:26
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Explanation and Commentary of Matthew 6:26

Some practice religions which teach that man is just another animal. Indeed, there are atheists who may as well be animal worshipers. In some parts of the United States, animals seem to have more rights than men and women. But Jesus here affirms what we learn in Genesis 1, that God has created mankind as the crown jewel of his creation. Who or what else was made in the image of God, given authority to care for and rule the creation in his name, and redeemed from sin by the suffering Savior of the world? You were.

Sometimes we get anxious about our provision of daily bread. We forget that God has made everything well. The birds seem to go about feeding themselves, but it is really God who feeds them. They glorify him by being exactly what he created them to be and doing exactly what he created them to do. The same should go for us. Jesus is not saying that we should not “reap nor gather into barns,” but that we should not worry. We are made to work and work hard, but we are not meant to worry. We understand that even though we work hard with both our bodies and our minds to meet our needs, it is a result of God’s grace that we eat our daily bread. This is why is it right to thank him for our provision. We work because that is what we were created to do, but we eat because God provides for us. We always eat by grace. God feeds the birds of the air as they fulfill their own purpose to God’s glory, and he will do the same for us.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Matthew 6:26

#1 “Look at the birds of the air:”
Jesus invites us to consider the creation, specifically in this case, the birds. It is possible to discern the nature of God and the truth from observation of creation (Ro 1).

#2 “they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,”
Birds are not like humans. They are hunter-gatherers. While they do not practice the kind of innovation that humans do to feed themselves, they do live purposefully: building nests, caring for young, gathering food to eat. God has equipped them perfectly and placed them in a welcoming environment full of what they need to live.

#3 “and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”
God has provided a way for all his creatures to attain sustenance.

#4 “Are you not of more value than they?”
The life of a man or woman is more precious to God, in whose image we are created, than any other organism. We should expect him to take care of us when we trust in him.

Expert Overview of Matthew Ch. 1-13

Biblical Translations of Matthew 6:26

NIV
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

NLT
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”

ESV
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

KJV
“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?”

NKJV
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Matthew 6:26 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.