Summary: Jesus desires to remove our fears. Jesus shares with us three great assurances based on God's love which will always casts out fear 1. We are His Sheep 2. We are HIs Good Pleasure 3. We are His Kingdom (People)
THEME: God's Rx for Fear
Proposition: Jesus desires to remove our fears. He shares three great assurances based on God's love which always casts out fear 1. We are His Sheep 2. We are HIs Good Pleasure 3. We are His Kingdom (People)
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world.
Our passage this morning comes from what could be labeled the Worry/Anxiety/Fear Chapter of the N. T. Gospels. Luke deals with the subjects of worry/anxiety and/or fear more than any of the other Gospel writers. Over and over again, Luke uses the word - "phobeo" which at its core means "to frighten, to scare away or to make afraid".
We see Luke speaking of phobeo when Zacharias and later Mary experience their encounter with the angel of the LORD. We see fear on the faces of the shepherds the night that the Christ child was born when they too encountered the heavenly hosts. Thankfully, in all three accounts everyone is encouraged to release their fears and welcome God's Good News.
When Jesus called James and John to follow him, Luke tells us that Jesus explains to them not to phobeo/fear. Luke goes on to refer to the presence of fear after Jesus heals the paralytic, raises the widow of Nain's son and frees the demonic man of Gadarenes. In all three passages people are overcome with fear at the sight of a great miracle.
Why does Luke talk more about fear that his contemporary Gospel writers? It's not because Luke possessed an unhealthy obsession with worry/anxiety/fear but just the opposite. Being a physician, Luke understood the devastating effects that worry/anxiety/fear could have on the human body, mind and soul. He knew that when a person is overwrought with worry/anxiety/fear it can paralyze them, create massive cardiac issues and even cause mental and emotional sickness. I believe Luke dealt with fear because he saw that in Christ a true remedy for fear/worry/anxiety.
Our passage this morning may look like a "MISCELLANEOUS HELP LIST" as it deals with such diverse subjects as fear, heavenly and earthly treasure along with the Lord's Second Coming. Each verse in our passage is chocked full of pity little sayings that you could frame or that you can might find framed on "Pinterest". There is so much here that we would do ourselves a great disservice if we attempted to look at each one of these areas in a single setting. With that in mind, let's focus in on one single verse, that being verse 32. This verse share with us Jesus three great assurances that can remove fear from our lives.
But before we look at God's Assurances let's recognize that:
All humans are prone to experience fear in some fashion or form
Already in chapter 12 Luke has shared a number of things that can create fear in people's hearts, minds and souls:
+The fear of death - verse 4
+The fear of ridicule and public shame - verse 11
+The fear not having enough - verse 22
+The fear that God is not on their side here in the beginning of verse 32
Did you know that there is a website dedicated to listing all of mankind's phobias? It's www.phobialist.com. According to phobialist.com there are currently 530 things, situations or circumstances that can create fear in people's lives. WOW! Think about that just for a moment - 530 different things that can cause some people to experience minimal to intense overwhelming fear.
What are some of those fears? Here is a list of some that have made the top ten:
1. The fear of losing our freedom - losing the ability to make your own choices and determine your own fate
2. The fear of the Unknown - not knowing what is coming around the corner or what is behind the door that you are knocking on in life
3. The fear of pain and suffering - how long and how much can one endure an amount of pain and/or suffering
4. The fear of disappointment - the fear of not being good enough or having to many imperfections
5. The fear of loneliness - having to live alone - outliving your spouse and friends - finding yourself with no one to listen to or care about you.
6. The fear of being the subject of ridicule - of having people laugh at you and make fun of you
7. The fear of falling - this is one that is commonly felt among senior citizens who fear failing more than they do financial issues, robbery or even health issues. For many it causes them to become immobile refusing to participate in common everyday activities.