By Roy Zuck;Darrell Bock

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The sparrow does not fall apart from the will of God. But the sparrow does fall. Such is Matthew's vision of the will of God. This is certainly not all Matthew wrote about the way God is carrying out His plan for this world through His servants in the church. But it is a reminder that the God whom Matthew portrayed often accomplishes His purposes in unexpected and, from a human point of view, sometimes perilous ways. In so doing, however, He is not a God removed from His people and indifferent to their plight.

James correctly affirmed that God Himself does not tempt anyone (James 1:13), but Matthew leaves no doubt that He sometimes permits temptation to befall His children. Matthew likewise made clear that trials may lead to martyrdom, as it did for John and Jesus. In Jesus' missionary charge to the disciples, Matthew included this word of warning from Jesus: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

In addition to the two passages discussed above, comparison with two accounts also recorded by Mark and Luke illustrates this. The first is in the account of the stilling of the storm on the sea of Galilee (Matt. 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25). Although Jesus was with them, asleep in the boat, the disciples, afraid of perishing, called to Him for help. But each writer recorded a different form of address: for Luke, it is "Master" (Luke 8:24); Mark used "Teacher" (Mark 4:38); and Matthew wrote "Lord" (Matt.

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