Fear, and Fear Not

Reading: Luke 12:1-34


As Jesus prepares his disciples for their work in the kingdom of God, he brings up several sources of concern that still pose challenges for disciples of Christ today:  hypocrisy (vv. 1-3), persecution (4-12), and physical needs and wealth (13-34). Pay attention to how many times the ideas of fear, anxiety, and worry are mentioned by the Lord as he addresses these issues.


Many times, our fears and worries catch us fixating on the wrong things. Compared to God’s perspective, the things that keep us up at night may not deserve as much attention as we give them. The worst thing someone could do to you is take your life, but the Lord says “after that [they] have nothing more that they can do” (v. 4). Worrying fails to give us the most precious resource of time; “if then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are anxious about the rest” (v. 26)? That’s a good question to ponder this week.


Yet fear does have an important role in our lives: we must have a healthy fear of God Himself, based on reverence and understanding of His authority (v. 5, 8-10). Like the rich fool in Jesus’s parable, God holds each of us accountable for how we live our lives. But in the same breath, our Savior tells us to “fear not.” God doesn’t forget the forgettable birds; He makes sure they are fed. God clothes the flowers of the field. And God knows what you need! So fear not: in Christ you are immeasurably valued (v. 7), and it is His good pleasure to give us everything we need in His kingdom (v. 32-34).