Reader Questions

The Value of a Sparrow

Someone visited my blog and asked: “Who set the market value of sparrows in Jesus’s time? What where sparrows used for? Modern farmers see them as a liability to be exterminated to control over population. From a supply and demand analysis, sparrows would be worthless. Why would a market exist in the first place? Therefore my question is why were they given monetary value at all?”

Blair, apologies for taking a while to reply to you, but here goes: Sparrows were indeed of very little value (Luke 12:6). People at the poverty line in Biblical times who could not afford to buy a lamb or a goat could buy sparrows to offer as sacrifices at the temple. Sparrows could also be used as a very inexpensive food source. Thus, sparrows had some monetary value in the markets. However, God does not forget the sparrow. So, if God takes notice of a sparrow, how much more will He care for you?

By Christina M. H. Powell PhD

Dr. Christina M. H. Powell, PhD works in the pharmaceutical industry and is also an ordained Assemblies of God minister and public speaker. She trained as a biomedical research scientist at Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry is from Penn State University.