Matthew 10:26-33 (ESV)

26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

After warning the disciples about the persecution they would face in his name, Jesus exhorted them to be found faithful nevertheless in proclaiming the truths he proclaimed (v. 27). They were to speak his message boldly and without fear because God was with them, and involved in every circumstance of their lives. Two sparrows could be purchased for a penny, yet God is attentive to each and every bird. God also knows exactly how many hairs are on every person’s head at all times. The point Jesus made was clear: God is in control. Although men could physically hurt the disciples, no human has the ability to harm the soul of the one who belongs to Jesus. It is remarkable that Jesus used sparrows and hair to illustrate God’s concern for all of his creation. He taught that God is involved in the trivial details we would consider insignificant. Even though a pair of sparrows weren’t worth more than a cheeseburger in the economy at that time, God took note of every single one. If God is interested in so-called worthless birds and he is taking notice of hairs on heads, then he is obviously not too busy or too lofty to be intimately involved with every detail in the lives of those who place their trust in him.

While reassuring the disciples of God’s care and concern, Jesus made a strong declaration throughout his teaching. He reasoned that because the God of the universe is so intimately involved in every area of the believer’s life, there is no need for his followers to be afraid. Three times in this discourse Jesus says, “Do not fear.” Jesus never promised that harm or trouble would not come to those who belong to him. In fact, he said the opposite. Yet he encouraged his followers to stop being afraid. On the other hand, in verse 28, Jesus says all should fear the Lord, who can destroy the whole person in hell. What a graphic reminder of what Jesus has saved his people from. Why should we turn from fear? What’s wrong with it? Fear paralyzes us and keeps us from doing what God has called us to do. It also reveals a lack of trust in God. What are you afraid of? Choose to let God’s truth override your insecurities. Say goodbye to your fears and embrace full obedience to Jesus today.