In Luke 12 Jesus gives us two commands. One is to fear, the other is to fear not. This isn’t a case of speaking out of both sides of His mouth. Rather, there is a vital lesson that He is teaching us.
He first tells His disciples that while they shouldn’t fear man–who can kill the body but not the soul–they must fear the Lord. For it is He who determines not only the day of our physical death but Who also will cast rebellious souls into hell. Our life & eternity are in His hands, and this should startle us to reflect on whether we are right with God.
In other words, do not fear man, but do fear God Almighty. But this fear for God is not a sort of sheer terror. We know this because Jesus brings the conversation back around to this word of gentle comfort: “Fear not, little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
While God is justified in damning rebellious men to eternal hellfire, don’t miss the logic of our Lord here. This fearful damnation need not be your end. God delights, in fact, it is His good pleasure, to give you the kingdom. And so, Jesus’ words come as a mercy: “Fear not, little flock.”
Fear man, and you will find yourself terrified of God. Fear God, and you’ll find all your fears assuaged. God is your maker & judge, yes. But through Christ, He is also the justifier of those who come to Him by faith. Here at this table is a pledge that God the Father has given to you the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of endless joy, peace, and rest. And so, to those who come to Him, He says to them, “Fear not.”
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…