Providence in the NT

As we have seen, God’s sovereign providence is a major theme, not just of OT war, but of the OT as a whole. As a nation, Israel were called to trust that God was acting for their good, and to respond in faithful obedience.  God’s sovereignty is no more highlighted than in his plan, from the beginning of time, to send his Son to save his people.  As with other aspects of the Trinity, it is hard to distinguish between Jesus being cared for by his Father, and him acting on his own behalf. But there are clearly moments in which Jesus’ physical well-being is miraculously protected (e.g. Matt 2).

Providence, however, is most prominent in Jesus’ teaching. God’s control over his world extends down to the tiniest detail, even providing for and sustaining the sparrows, the ravens and the wildflowers. This control is the foundation of faith; since God loves his people much more than birds and flowers, he will certainly care for them. Therefore, his people need not worry about the future – even tomorrow – but instead can focus on seeking the Kingdom. (Matt 6:25-26, 33-34; 10:29-31; 12:17-34)

Just as in the OT, faith in God’s providence is expressed in prayer. As Jesus taught his disciples about providence, he emphasized the power of prayer; God is the perfect father who gives all good things to his children when they ask (Matt 7:7-12; Luke 11:11-13). Jesus himself expressed this in his own prayers throughout his life.


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