Scripture Luke 12:4-7
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight.7 But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
- Jesus says “Don’ fear… you should fear… don’t fear”
- Is this really about fear – or about why we shouldn’t fear anyone in the this world?
- Contrast between the first verses (4-5) and the second (6-7)
- Is the contrast between those whom we fear who don’t value us anway and God, who should be feared because of his great power but actually cares more for us than we acknowledge?
The Jedi Master Yoda famously warns ‘Fear is the path to the dark side;” Jesus might agree. This little passage is interesting because it is not what it appears to be about at first glance. Jesus contrasts those whom we tend to fear – those who have power over us in this life – but rather fear God because he can kill not just your body but also your soul.
But Jesus’ advice here is really “Don’t be afraid!” Weird. Not at all what you’d expect based on the intro. His point to me is – “Here is the One whom you should really fear. But you are valuable to him, more than you know. And so don’t be afraid at all.”
So much of the gospel is about not being afraid if we look at its message without our preconceptions or the stuff we overly on it.
Lord, I know your power exceeds any power I can imagine. Yet that power is applied to my good, not my destruction; to my benefit rather than to my harm. Teach me anew how not to fear but to live in the freedom from fear and the freedom of knowing how much you value me. Amen.