We live in a culture that is driven by fear. If you look at recent news, it is easy to find sensationalized “reporting” that is geared towards increasing viewership. Fear causes us to react instead of responding in faith, love, and obedience.
Jesus was aware of the fear of his followers, knowing that while they might be faithful now, the opposition of their future calling could easily cripple them. After giving instruction to his disciples, Jesus said these words in Matthew 10:28–31:
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
First, what strikes me about his passage is the disparity in how God views a sparrow versus how man views a sparrow. In the time of Jesus’ ministry, a sparrow was essentially worthless. Yet God, from his perspective as Creator, saw his creation as valuable enough to show care. As we reflect on how we treat creation — from created things to the earth itself — do we reflect the love and care of our Creator?
As much as God cares for all of his creation, Jesus says that God deeply cares about each individual person and the details that surround their concerns. This passage isn’t about mankind’s significance, but God’s overabundant lovingkindness towards us.
The question is: do you respond with a love for God and for others, or do you react with fear, which is often self-seeking? This great depth of love should move us past fear and selfishness. Is your greatest desire and love for God or for anything else?
Overcoming fear isn’t about motivation or strategic thinking, it’s about knowing the depth of the Creator’s love.