Lilies Of The Field Bible Verse Meaning And Study

Lilies Of The Field Bible Verse Meaning And Study November 16, 2015

What does the biblical reference about the “lilies of the field” mean? What was Jesus trying to tell believers?

The Beatitudes

In Matthew chapter five and six, Jesus gives the Beatitudes or sometimes called the Sermon on the Mount and in it He asks, “Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matt 6:28-29). The meaning seems clear in the context of this paragraph (Matt 6:25-34) as He had been commanding His listeners (and us) “do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing” (Matt 6:25). Sounds easy but it’s so very hard to do, isn’t it? What can help us to consider the lilies?

Look at the Birds

In helping us understand more about anxiety, and hopefully learn to deal with it, Jesus wants us to simply look at nature. He uses the birds as an example by saying “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they” (Matt 6:26). Yes, we are of more worth to God than the birds, not that He doesn’t value them too. We are not able to look into tomorrow but neither are the birds. Why worry about something we can’t control. They don’t worry (if they could!). God always provides for them. Maybe that’s what Jesus is telling us. How can worry help us at all? Our Lord says “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matt 6:27)? The answer is obvious. None of us can add even a second to our life. It’s actually quite the opposite. Having anxiety and living in a state of worry will shorten your life span.


Trust in God

Fear may be about as opposite of trust that there is. If fear is straight north, then trust is due south. I have to admit that I’ve had times of fear but this tells God I have a lack of trust in Him, however when you really learn to trust, your fear can disappear. Jesus asks His listeners (and us) “why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matt 6:28-29)? His point may be that the lilies don’t toil in the fields and yet they fulfill their purpose in beauty. They seem to grow almost effortlessly. Solomon in all his glory did have need of toil and spinning but still couldn’t compare with the lilies in the field.

Different or the Same?

We are told to come out of the world (Jer 51:45; Rev 18:4) just as Paul writes, “go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you” (2nd Cor 6:17) but if we are constantly worrying “What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear” (Matt 6:31) how are we different from the world because “the Gentiles seek after all these things” (Matt 6:32a)? What a waste of energy because “your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” (Matt 6:32b). Jesus’ conclusion to all of this is “do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6:34) because we can’t control tomorrow; only today, so why waste the time and effort on it? Consider the lilies.


I hope you have been helped by this study on the lilies of the field. It should strengthen your faith in God by looking all around you. You can see just faithful God is to His created creatures and always provides for them. Will He do any less for you? He wants to pour out more blessings upon you too if you will trust Him. If you’re not born again, Jesus has a message for you; “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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