“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10: 28-31)
Jesus presented words of comfort and encouragement to His disciples along with words which described the life they would lead as His followers. They would undergo persecution and be despised and hated by many because of their testimony to the truth of the gospel. Jesus let them know that, despite these consequences, the Lord would never abandon them. Therefore, they could proclaim the Word of God with boldness.
Almighty God knows all and sees all. He will punish those who persecute His followers while rewarding His followers for their faithfulness. If God knows and cares for the tiny sparrow, He knows and cares for each of those who are His. Knowing this, we modern day believers must also be witness to the truth of the gospel with boldness. We must gladly accept the deprivations and hardships that this may bring to us. We will be estranged from our own families and friends. We will incur the scorn and wrath of our government, the media, celebrities, and our culture at large. Yet we must turn away from the values and pleasures of this world so that the Word of God will go forth.
This is precisely what our Lutheran forefathers did in the presentation of The Augsburg Confession. This is the statement of faith for the Christian Church based on the gospel. This Confession was issued in opposition to the corrupt teachings of the Roman church as well as the powers of that Church and its allied human governments. These sought to suppress God’s Word so that they could hold onto worldly power and the desires of the flesh. We who hold to this Confession maintain the truth in the face of opposition and persecution. Our reward is in the Kingdom of heaven not this earth.