A Moment with the Bible
The challenge of every disciple who truly wants to pattern himself after Christ is fear. The apostles and early disciples would face serious persecution that in many cases would lead to death. Whether persecution that threatens one’s life or simply pressure exerted by those who disagree, Jesus’ admonishes that there are three reasons for not fearing those who would attack them.
First, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. One might first think that Jesus is saying that all hidden sins and wickedness will be revealed in judgment. While it is true that on the Judgment God will reveal the wickedness of men’s hearts, in this text Jesus is dealing more with the revealing of the Word of God. In other words, they will be successful in their attempts to spread the gospel regardless of attempts to stop them. The things the Lord reveals to them “in the dark,” they are to proclaim on the housetops. As Isaiah, said, “My word will not return unto Me void” (Isa. 55:11).
Second, there is someone greater to fear than other humans. A man can kill the body, but is unable to do any more. God can destroy both body and soul in hell. Does it make sense to fear a person who has no power after the grave rather than the One who has power to punish eternally? Every part of a Christian’s life ought to be lived with that knowledge in view.
Third, a disciple should not fear because God cares. If God cares even about a sparrow, how much more would He care about His followers? While we at times may feel alone in the face of persecution and pressures from without, we are never alone when we are putting the Lord first. He is there with us and therefore we must not keep silent.
A final application is important. Notice in verse 28 that Jesus speaks of a man being able to kill the body but not able to touch the soul. There are some religions who teach the soul refers only to our physical life and that when we are dead, we are non-existent. But Jesus taught that the soul lives on and we must fear God who can affect our eternal existence. We were created as eternal beings. We have no end; therefore we must be concerned about where we will spend that eternity.