Butterflies Aren’t In the Bible. Wait . . .

They aren’t named in the Bible. I wonder why. They’re so beautiful and graceful.  It seems like Jesus would have pointed during one of His outdoor teaching sessions and said, “Behold, the butterfly . . .” and used it to illustrate some profound truth.  But butterflies aren’t in the Bible.

But wait!  Think with me for a minute. Consider the Monarch butterfly.  A tiny, cream-colored egg the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen is attached to the underside of a milkweed leaf.  After a few days, an unbelievably small yellow, black, and white striped caterpillar emerges from the egg.

It eats the milkweed leaves and grows to about two inches long.  Then it hangs from a stem or branch by its hindmost feet, head downward, and firmly attaches itself with thread.  The skin splits and falls off, and the pale green naked blob soon hardens into a porcelain-like case with black and gold jewels circling the edge.

A couple of weeks later, the case (“chrysalis”) cracks open and a wet droopy form pushes its way out, an unsightly mass of black and orange crumpled wings and groping, gangly legs.  Soon the wings become velvety smooth, looking freshly painted in dusky orange and deep black with little white accents, its body perfectly designed for a new way of life.

Monarch on our Butterfly Bush  10.5.14
Monarch on our Butterfly Bush 10.5.14

The unsightly caterpillar, its range of movement restricted to a few square feet, becomes a Monarch butterfly that will spend the rest of its life as a living miracle, flying above the earth, venturing as far as Mexico on its migratory path.

The name for this radical change is metamorphosis.  This creature’s life cycle is a picture of the biblical concept of transformation.  In fact, the Greek word metamorphoo (-phoo is pronounced fa-o) is used twice in the Bible.  In these two verses, it is translated with the word, “transformed.”

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  (Romans 12:2)

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.       (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Both these verses are talking about the change that takes place in us when we believe in Jesus Christ and grow to be like Him.

An immediate transformation happens when we are saved.  This is the new birth (John 3:1-17) when we become new creatures in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  A full and final transformation will occur when believers are raised from the dead and God gives us the capacity to experience and enjoy His presence forever (1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Philippians 3:20-21).

But Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18, the ones that use the word metamorphoo, are talking about ongoing transformation, the growth and change we experience in this life after we are saved and before we go to heaven.  If you are a Christian, you have the capacity to be an entirely new person at every level, including your deepest motivations and passions, your thoughts, your attitudes, and your behavior.

The caterpillar, or “pupa” as it is called at that stage, spends about two weeks in the chrysalis.  During that time the cells from the homely, earthbound caterpillar are being reformulated to produce the body, legs, wings, antennae, and other components of the butterfly.

In the same way, you spend the years of your life after you are saved being “transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).  God is at work in you, changing you into a reflection of His own image, something glorious.  It happens over time, through circumstances, as you respond to His Word and His work in you.

Paul says in Romans 12:2 to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  This means you have a part in this process, by allowing your thoughts and motives and attitudes to be shaped by an outside force, that force being God’s Spirit speaking through His Word rather than the world around you.

And one day the process will be finished, the waiting will be over, and you will leave the dark, confining, yet in some ways beautiful, chrysalis of this life, and you will be fully and finally transformed.

You will have “a body like His glorious body”(Philippians 3:21) and you will “know just as (you are) known” (1 Corinthians 15:12) and “there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying . . . no more pain, for the former things have passed away” because the One who sits on the throne “makes all things new” (Revelation 21:4-5) and you “will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).

I’ve searched, and I can’t find any butterflies in the Bible.  But I’ve found transformation in the Bible!  You can too.

23 thoughts on “Butterflies Aren’t In the Bible. Wait . . .”

  1. Thank you Pastor Taylor. So many things aren’t mentioned in the Bible, but what God is doing has it covered, especially where His believers are concerned. But still in all He is drawing the world to His truths.

  2. I don’t know if you remember me Pastor Taylor from Brookside and Calvary for a minute, but I just wanted to say this is a beautiful blog. So grateful for that journey of transformation – our God is so powerful and awesome. May God bless and prosper you in all ways.

  3. Hi Stephanie, Yes, I do remember you! Neat to see your ministry of helping people. Thanks for your encouraging words. God’s richest blessings to you as well.

  4. Yes! I looked here because I had a dream an electric ball of power came from the clouds. It moved to my right then it glided on over to the right and behind. As it moved, it developed white pales as on the flag. Then networked and became a white and clear Monarch. Then it turned and flew over me and all the bottom panels of the wings had become TV screens. I saw various news cast. But my eyes focused on Donald Trump behind a microphone. Then it was over. All the upper panels were covered in a silicon color, not shown. This was in 2016. God transform your people.

  5. I love this….please can I quote it, or some of it, for a project I’m working on…an inspirational butterfly card?

  6. Thank you Pastor Taylor. Just like Rick said, so many things are not in the bible, true! But my advice to every believer, I wish we could only consider those things which are written in the bible, because God’s word does not change. God bless you all!!

  7. I started making butterflies and flowers many years ago and giving them to nursing homes residents and staff . Also hospitals, doctors office. God gave me scripture years ago about the change he wants us to be a beautiful butterfly not stuck in life as a catipiller. I tell the recipient of the butterfly I give how important the butterfly is and that we are God’s creations. Be the beautiful butterfly God created you to be. Most of all be the man or woman of God he has called you to be .

  8. Loved that you picked up on the importantance of the caterpillar, butterfly. I’d love to save this but don’t know how. Please read my comment above. The best way to respond to me is with Facebook

  9. Hi there, I’m a born again Christian. I got saved back in, 2009.i tend to be my worst critic when it comes to feeling like I have failed or have somehow disappointed God. And of course my condemnation is my own conscience. Well, yesterday, the day after I had a heart to heart with God and cried asking Him for forgiveness, I kept seeing yellow butterflies at different times of the day, one in particular that kept flying around me for a minute. Just wanted to ask you what your intake from that is. I do feel a lot better spiritually and in my heart as the day goes on.

  10. Thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring message! I was shopping for an inspiring shirt to wear to my chemotherapy treatments and I saw a t-shirt containing a portion of the verse Romans 8:37 “more than a conqueror” and a picture of a butterfly. Afterwards I began searching for how to best explain the reason I selected that shirt and why the butterfly was an important symbol to my faith, that is how I found this wonderful message and I am so grateful for your insights. If we consider the fact that God created all things then perhaps we can see the butterfly in the bible after all it is just neatly tucked away in Genesis 1:25 “And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25 NKJV
    Thank you again and May God Bless you!

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  12. That was beautifully written and constructed. God bless you for writing this and all those that read it. I came to read this after watering my garden and noticing 3 Monarch butterflies on my hydrangea vine wall. I have always viewed butterflies as Gods gift to show how wondrous creatures are and how all can transform into a more beautiful creature that can fly.

  13. All beautiful and encouraging comments. I’m seeing white butterflies almost daily!.Some escort me to my vehicle then fly away..God is good. A message of hope and wonder and La .God bless you all🌾

  14. Hi, it is truly amazing how God works, I find it within nature I am closest to Him and believe the power of authority God has given us over all living organisms… I not sure if it is related what I am about to say but I feel it within my heart it may be the case. I don’t normally say that I am a Christian but rather a child of God and believe that the connection with God should be a personal relationship between you and Him as He is the only one who can help you. So I have been experiencing some weird things especially with nature… I love nature and can spend hours outside by myself, however, I have noticed that when I stand inside my room gazing out the window I would see perhaps a butterfly or two hovering in the distance but when I go outside the butterflies almost immediately come flying towards me and fly around me or sit ontop of me, once I reached out my hand to one and he flew very close ontop of my hand and as I smiled and looked at it it flew down to my feet and then sat on the ground near me. For some reason when ever I go outside I always find myself surrounded by butterflies on a spot where there wasnt any before I got there… I’ve had Nemours times where ppl would tell me there is a butterfly on me or flying close by me…. needless to say I have a special bond with animals so much so that I can sense when an animal is stressed or depressed, but another strange thing happend to me with a bee… it was like the bee understood completely what I said… he came flying in my room the one day and hovered around almost looked as if he was lost… I told him to turn around and go back to the window and he did that right after I told him, once at the window it seemed like he was struggling to find the open window so I directed him from where I was sitting, I told him to go right and he did and then I told him to go left to exit and he did… few moments later he came back and hovered around my head and then went back out again. Today as I was sitting and studying perhaps the same bee “not sure” but the way he came straight up into my face to get my attention and when I saw him I greeted him and asked him how hes doing he flew around me and then went out again… even when I speak to animals in general they seem to act accordingly to what I say… is that even possible? What is your opinion on this as I am speechless but do feel somehow there is a connection or spiritual meaning of this…. plz help

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