Summary: The three "fear nots" connected with the birth of Jesus give by the angelic messengers also speak to the needs of our hearts today.
The Three Fear Not’s of Christmas
Fear has been a part of the human existence since the fall of man in Genesis 3:8-10. You can see what fear looks like in the face of panic in a car with the sign “Student Driver” – no not in the face of the driver but in the face of the person in the passenger seat. As a public school teacher for six years in the Vilonia High School the biggest part of my day was taken up in teaching Driver’s Education. I know exactly what fear looks like, by remembering what I saw when I caught my own reflection in the rear view mirror of the Driver’s Ed Car. I distinctly remember some incidents that inspired fear.
One was at the beginning of a new term, when I took the new students out to the car to drive for the first time. A young lady slipped behind the wheel and put on her seat belt. I looked at her and said, “Ok, you can start the car.” Her reply was, “How?” I said, “You mean you have never even started a car?” She said, “No, my dad said, that as soon as you taught we how, I could drive his car.” My reply to her was, “Tell your dad, I said, THANKS!”
Another incident that stuck in my mind was when one day as we left the school headed east on Hwy. 64, as we pulled out of the school driveway the little girl behind the wheel looked over at me with a smile and said, “Well how am I doing.” My reply with a forced smile was, “Well your doing just fine, except that you are on the wrong side of the road.”
I could regale you with story after story but I think you get the idea. Everyone, regardless of how brave they seem, is afraid of something it may be any number of things such as Snakes, Spiders, Disease, Financial Setbacks, Old Age, Gray Hair, Rejection, Disappointment, Exposure, Being Forgotten, Etc. Even in the Bible, we can see where men were stalked by their fears.
Nothing has changed! People are still caught in the grip of their fears, and this is perhaps more so during the Christmas Season. It should be a time that is joyous, happy and most of all Christ-centered. Yet the season is full of fear, fear of not having enough money, fear of not meeting everyone’s expectations (what if I didn’t get them the right gift or what if they get me a better gift than I got them); we worry over meals, over who will be there and who will not. We just seem to fear everything.
This morning I want us to see that three times God sent angelic messengers to the earth with messages connected to the birth of His Son, the Lord Jesus. Each time, they brought big news, news which troubled the hearts of their hearers. However, they also came with a message of peace. Three times angels appeared. Three times they spoke the words, "Fear not." Let’s take some time this morning to examine the messages of these angels and learn for ourselves what it means to "Fear Not."
First, We are Told, Fear Not Only Believe (Luke 1:26-31,34-35)
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, (27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (28) And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"(29) But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. (30) Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. (31) And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS…… (34) Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" (35) And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
When our lives do not go as we have planned it is easy to fear that which is unknown. Often, God will allow things to happen in your life and in mine that seem to be hard to bear and hard to understand, yet the Lord sends them our way so that we might grow in Him and come to know Him in a better way. When these times arise, it is easy to question the Lord and His judgment.