Summary: What should we think of fear? Lets look to Jesus for the answer.


Introduction: Last week we spoke on the mixed messages that can bombard us, and I believe every one else can be receiving mixed messages. Mixed messages are a problem and in the life of the disciple it can be a scary world as Satan sends us mixed messages about fear.

Matt 10:27

27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

There was a second part to this statement and that is where I want to preach form today.

Matt 10:28

28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

We are a people who are always capable of displacing fear. We take it and put it where it should never be.

As we approach this Easter and we are just before coming to the Sunday we have titled Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem only to be crucified less than one week later.

How did Jesus do it? How did he expect His disciples to handle it?

Fear is not uncommon, it is not uncommon to any of us. Each of us finds ourselves in a fearful situation. It is an exciting time in the country and in the world and it is extremely scary. There are many uncertainties in life and in the life of the Disciples it was an uncertain time. People continue to make Christian’s out to be the bad guys. Right now there is an exciting time in the church, it can be scary.

Christian Clippings (Sept. 1993, pp. 14f) had this poignant example of a common human response:

"Sometime ago, newspapers carried the story of a young fellow named William, who was a fugitive from the police. The teenager had run away with his girlfriend because the parents had been trying to break them up. What William didn’t know was that an ailment he had been seeing the doctor about was diagnosed, just after his disappearance, as cancer.

"Now, here was William, doing his best to elude the police, lest he lose his love, while they were doing their best to find him, lest he lose his life. He thought they were after him to punish him; they were really after him to save him. William is representative of every man, whose guilt tells him God is after him to straightjacket him in this life and torture him forever."

Is fear good, should we be afraid, should we come to a place where fear can actually help us grow in the service and our relationship with God, well, Jesus wanted to ensure that the fear we did have was in the right context. So lets look at it.

I. The first thing that Christ did in this statement was to dispel needless fear

A. It was the fear of men.

1. The apostles were sent out as sheep among wolves

a. They were not looking to devour but the wolves were

2. The opposition of the authorities was gaining ground against Jesus.

a. eventually the opposition would effect them too

*As they promoted the ministry and the purpose of Jesus they were bound to meet the resistance also

The fear the Apostles were to experience under these conditions was a worldly fear.

3. It is a worldly fear that we experience too.

a. This fear isn’t of God it is a fear of man.

*This world is not afraid of what God will do, Sodom and Gomorrah weren’t afraid

*It is time to fear the wrath of God.

b. The world dishes out the fear we have.

4. There are things that this fear isn’t

a. We aren’t afraid of dying for our faith.

*We are in a realitivly safe time right now, tomorrow may be different

b. There are people who are afraid of dying for their faith.

5. There are thing’s that this fear is.

a. We don’t want to offend anybody

b. We don’t want any body to be mad at us.

c. We don’t want to be ridiculed

d. We don’t want to be despised by man

B. Why was this fear stimulated

1. There was a real danger to the Apostles

a. Men can kill the body.

*Jesus never denied the rough road on the contrary he told them exactly how it was going to be/ no sugar coating

b. Men are unable to give you eternal peace

Whether or not you like Jay Leno, Johnny Carson, or The Tonight Show, an interesting lesson can be found from NBC’s late night studio. When Leno became the new host of The Tonight Show, he took some real heat. Critics unfavorably compared him to his predecessor, Johnny Carson. From all of the criticism you would have thought he was in big trouble, but he never got too worried. In fact, he kept a stack of unpleasant reviews on his desk for inspiration. One critic said, "Too many soft questions." Another one read, "He’s being too nice." These unkind words didn’t bother Leno, though, because they were written in 1962 and were directed at Jack Paar’s replacement, "an awkward nobody named Johnny Carson." Few people succeed without criticism.

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