Parents often calm a child’s unreasonable fear – There’s nothing to be afraid of. Mommy and Daddy are right here with you.
God doesn’t want His children to live fearful lives either. Perhaps that’s why the Bible gives so many reassuring messages - Fear Not! Your Heavenly Father is right here.
Here our Teacher encourages His students to be brave in the face of ridicule and pressure.
So do not be afraid of them… Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
So it comes as a bit of a shock when the Teacher actually turns around and tells us to be afraid!
Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Does the Teacher really want us to be afraid, when in the very next breath He says:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don't be afraid.
What’s going on here? Perhaps, the Teacher is talking like parents sometimes do.
We warn our children not to do something wrong out of fear of what their peers will do to them. Then we remind them it’s more reasonable to be afraid of what Mommy and Daddy will do if they don’t!
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
Don’t be afraid! Be afraid! It makes perfect sense.