Summary: Jesus taught His disciples, "I will tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell."
It is easy to feel intimidated around powerful people. However, King David, who knew what it felt like to be afraid of powerful people who sought to destroy him once wrote, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." (Psa. 34:4) Jesus taught His disciples,
"I will tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell." (Luke 12:4,5)
l . Jesus taught us not to fear the powers of humans because God’ s power supercedes all. David once wrote, "Fear the Lord you His saints, for to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but they who seek the Lord will not be in want of any good thing."
Application: A healthy fear of God has a way of alleviating unnecessary fears.
2. Jesus taught people that the fear of people is a result of our inadequate faith in God. If our faith is strong, deep and comprehensive we will know that nothing happens to us without God’s consent.
3 . Jesus did not fear the fierce opposition of the Pharisees because He knew that nothing could wreck God’s eternal plans, processes or outcomes.
Application: When you are walking in fellowship with God and His people, you will be given a supernatural sense of peace in the midst of false accusations.
4. Jesus did not fear the Roman authorities who brutally suppressed people with military force. At one point Jesus told Pilate, the ruler of Palestine, "You would have no power unless it had been allowed by my Father in heaven." Paul writes, "
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph. 6:12) Remember that your battles are with supernatural forces not fleshly ones.
5. Jesus prayed for people that they would be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. He prayed, "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name." (John 17:11)
Application: Prayer has a way of alleviating our fears as we assure our hearts of the confidence we have in His mighty power.
6. Jesus did not shrink from threats. When Judas and the detachment of soldiers came to arrest Jesus with the priests and Pharisees they carried weapons. When they asked who do you want. The soldiers said, "Jesus of Nazareth!" Jesus said, "I am he." When He said those words, every soldier and priest and Pharisee drew back and fell to the ground!
Application: They were stunned at his courage in the face of death. Do not let yourself be intimated by carnal or secular people.
7. Jesus rebuked Peter for trying to thwart God’s plan. When the soldiers came for Jesus, Peter drew his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" (John 18:10,1 l)
Application: At times we need to be willing to go through misunderstandings, persecution and trouble for the sake of Christ and His kingdom.
8. Jesus remained calm in the face of provocation. When the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and teaching Jesus replied, "I have spoken openly to the world." (John 18:20)
Application: When we are speaking the truth in love we do not have anything to fear.
9. Jesus would echo the words of Paul who said, "Be steadfast, unmoveable." There are times when we need to take a stand on issues.
Application: Even though others may be advocating compromise, resolution or glossing over a difficult issue, do not give into fears of alienation.
10. Jesus knew how to respond to His accusers. When someone shouted at Jesus for talking with such boldness to a high priest, he slapped the Lord on the face. Jesus calmly replied,
"If I said something wrong, testify as to what is wrong. But, if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" (John 18:23) When you know you are right do not coil in obsequiousness.
I John 4:18 - There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear, for fear involves punishment. We love because He first loved us.
Ask the Lord to help you concentrate on loving more so you can fear less.