Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." (Luke 12:1)So what is Jesus trying to teach his students?
In the statement prior to this, Jesus has just stated that his disciples need not worry about the physical body being persecuted because we are not the physical body:
"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more." (Luke 12:4)Now he begins to explain their relationship with the Supreme Being with respect to their mission:
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?"
Jesus is stating the relative value of his disciples compared to sparrows. Animals such as sparrows were commonly bought and sold. This sets up the notion of value. Why would Jesus be speaking about the value of some tiny sparrows?
"Yet not one of them is forgotten by God."
Jesus is indicating that each sparrow - though not given much value by humans - is loved and cared for by the Supreme Being. His love is unconditional. It does not matter what our station in life might be. It doesn't matter what color our skin is. It doesn't even matter what type of body we might be wearing.
Jesus is clearly indicating that while humans may not value sparrows, within the body of every living organism is a spirit-person - a living soul. This spirit-person lies within another plane of existence and this is why when a body dies there is no life: Because the spirit-person leaves the physical body at the time of death.
The Supreme Being watches over us regardless of the type of body we occupy. And each lifetime brings with it lessons that teach us and help elevate us to the higher, human species, from which we can redevelop our relationship with God and return to the spiritual realm.
Without this relationship with our Best Friend and Soul Mate the Supreme Being, we are lost. This is why we search for the meaning of life: Because we have forgotten our relationship with the Supreme Being. We do not understand who we are or what our purpose is, so we try one thing after another, seeking happiness.
Yet happiness is not found in the temporary names and forms of the physical realm. It is not found within sensory experiences. It is not found by becoming wealthy or famous. It is not found by achieving some made-up goal and then achieving it. It is also not found by surrounding ourselves with a big family, lots of children, or a big house with a white picket fence.
None of these satisfy us because we are not these physical bodies. We are the spirit-person dwelling within this temporary body. And because our composition is spiritual, not physical, the temporary forms of the physical world do not satisfy us.
The only thing that can satisfy us is to return to our loving relationship with the Supreme Being.
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
But the Supreme Being is not limited. His ability to perceive and His attention to detail is unlimited. As Jesus states, the Supreme Being has designed the physical world with exquisite perfection. Nothing gets by Him. His intelligence and consciousness is unlimited. This is why we can contact the Supreme Being from anywhere: Because He can expand His presence on an unlimited basis.
Ancient teachings explain that the Supreme Being expands Himself in three respects through the physical world:
1) He is present throughout every universe - guiding and caring for all
2) He is present within every atom - guiding every motion and occurrence
3) He is present within each organism - watching over the spirit-person as the Holy Spirit, offering His guidance as it is sought
"Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
The Supreme Being monitors and guides everything, but He allows us the freedom to follow and worship Him or reject and forget Him. For those who seek to become dedicated to Him, He directs them to His representative while offering guidance from within. While He loves all of us unconditionally, to those who seek Him, He offers personal guidance.
This is because they have decided they want to return to Him. Most of those living within the physical world want to be away from Him. Most of us want to avoid Him: Because we don't want to be in a subordinate position. We want to be on top.
The Supreme Being loves every one of us unconditionally. But to those who want to be with Him and are ready to take the subordinate position and lovingly serve Him, He is ready to reciprocate.
You see, the Supreme Being is a Person. He is a person who enjoys exchanging loving relationships - just as each of us enjoys loving relationships.
Loving relationships please the Supreme Being and thus He created children with whom He could have a myriad of unique loving relationships with.
But because love requires freedom we each have the choice to love God or not. Those who choose not to love God become self-centered and must leave the spiritual realm and take on physical bodies within the physical realm - a type of rehabilitation center.
But even while there are many lessons here, we still always have the choice whether we want to have a relationship with God or not - because love requires the freedom to choose. For those who continually decide not to, God designed the physical world and these physical bodies and minds to allow us to completely forget Him. This is why people can deny His existence: He is giving us the opportunity to forget Him in order to give us the complete freedom to have a relationship with Him or not. If we could always see Him - how could we forget Him? How could we deny His existence?
But for those who decide we want to return to Him: He gives special attention and special guidance in the form of re-introducing us through His representative. This was Jesus' mission: To bring those who wanted to return to their relationship with God back to the spiritual realm.
This requires effort. And determination. It does not come automatically. That's because our consciousness must change. We must have a change of heart. We must become ready to re-enter the spiritual realm and that means our consciousness must change from being self-centered to being God-centered. It means the Supreme Being must become the most important person in our lives rather than ourselves (and the extensions of ourselves - our family, institutions, race, etc.) being the most important.
It also means learning how to love again, without the expectation of being loved in return.
In the physical world, self-centeredness reigns. But in the spiritual realm, selfless love reigns. There is no pride or envy - and no disease, or birth or death: Only loving relationships centered around our loving relationship with the Supreme Being - the most beautiful, gracious, kind, perfect person.
As Jesus is telling his students, we have nothing to worry about as we begin to follow the teachings of Jesus. We will be protected and guided. And what is the goal of Jesus' teachings?
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matt. 22:37-39)