Crawling with Fear
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
Olga stood quietly against a wooden background in a popular vaudeville show while her partner threw knives and hatchets into the wood around her. All at once, during the act, she let out a scream and promptly fainted. The audience feared the worst. But when she revived in her dressing room, Olga explained: "I suddenly felt something crawling on my leg and discovered a spider. Oh, I'm so afraid of spiders!"
As ridiculous as this performer's arachnophobia was in the face of a far greater danger, fearing man more than God is even more absurd. That was precisely Jesus' point in today's passage. Without the right perspective, we all tend to overreact to persecution.
Jesus reminded his followers to expect ill-treatment (vv. 24-25). When it happened, and it would, he told them to remember God's perfect knowledge of the minutest details and his complete control over everything (vv. 26-31). Finally, Jesus made a loyal witness for Christ the "make-or-break test" of discipleship (vv. 31-32). When we remember these things, we will stand firm with nerves of steel!
Heavenly Father, let me behold you with the eyes of faith till all my fears melt away in your presence. In Jesus name, Amen.