Luke 12:6

ESV Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
NIV Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
NASB Are five sparrows not sold for two assaria? And yet not one of them has gone unnoticed in the sight of God.
CSB Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight.
NLT What is the price of five sparrows — two copper coins ? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.
KJV Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?

What does Luke 12:6 mean?

Jesus is urging the disciples to choose Him over the Pharisees. The Pharisees are immensely popular among the people, but they are devoted to extra-biblical laws. Rejection of the message of God's prophets lead them and their followers to spiritual death (Luke 11:39–52). Remaining confident in Jesus may lead to physical death, but in the end Jesus' followers will receive eternal life in His presence (Luke 12:1–5, 8–12).

As an illustration, Jesus compares the disciples to sparrows. Of all the food sold at the marketplace, sparrows are the cheapest. They are so small and inconsequential, they're not even a suitable replacement for sacrifices for the poor like the pigeon and turtledove (Leviticus 1:14).

And yet, God sees the sparrow. He is aware of their lives and deaths: He knows them. And if He knows these small birds, the disciples—all of Jesus' followers—can be assured that He knows them. Jesus-followers may face physical death for their faithfulness (Luke 12:4), but God will remember them, raise them on the last day, and bring them to live with Him in paradise for eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

This passage is one of many refutations of a common false teaching: the "health and wealth" or "prosperity" gospel. The teaching claims that if Christians have enough faith and obey God properly, God will give them physical wellbeing and worldly riches. That anyone could make this claim is puzzling considering what Jesus states. Here, He tells the disciples that if they remain faithful to Him (Luke 12:8–12) they may die (Luke 12:4–5). He will later tell them that the world hates Him so it will hate them, too (John 15:18–19). The only apostle's death the Bible mentions is a man who died because of his faith in Jesus (Acts 12:1–2). A proper, literal reading of Scripture leaves no mistake that sometimes Jesus' followers will suffer because they follow Him.

A "penny" is an assarion: 1/16th of a denarius, or less than half an hour's wages for a laborer. Matthew's account says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?" (Matthew 10:29). The slight variation gives more evidence that Jesus, as a traveling teacher, used the same illustrations in different contexts.
What is the Gospel?
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