Jesus Example of Fearlessness
Many things could be written about Jesus’ fearlessness, but this is specific to an account in Matthew 14:23-27:
“After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone. Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost! ” they said, and they cried out in fear. Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “
Here we find Jesus went up a mountain, all by himself, and he finds himself there all alone in the middle of the night. When was the last time you hiked a mountain and stayed there in the middle of the night by yourself? The next thing we hear, he is walking out into the Mediterranean Sea in a storm. Juxtapose Jesus’ actions with those of a normal man’s (in this case the disciples), who were huddled together screaming about ghosts in fear. Jesus direction to the disciples was to have courage, that he is there, don’t be afraid. This sounds a lot like God’s command to the Israelites through Moses: “”Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the LORD your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.” ” – Deuteronomy 31:6 CSB, and again God’s command to Joshua who came after Moses: “”Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ” – Joshua 1:9 CSB
- To be fearless, have faith.
- Don’t let circumstances alter the command you have from God.
- God is with us wherever we go.
- Have courage
What Are We Afraid Of?
“There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love.” – 1 John 4:18 CSB
When we’re afraid we are most often allowing fear of pain or punishment guide us. 1 John tells us that perfect love drives out fear. John suggests we have an imperative to love harder when we are fearful.
In the Acts chapter 7, we are given a beautiful example of this played out. Stephen who by most people’s standards, should be terrified for his life, is thinking about God’s kingdom and about forgiveness for those who are about to murder him. Somehow a man, who is about to be stoned to death shows no fear whatsoever, and only expresses love towards his unjust murderers. Perfect love drove out his fear. Stephen loved Jesus and his people. His love for Jesus allowed him to face anything, to the point of death, with no fear.
Fear cripples our ability to obey God. Love, however puts the focus on that which we love, God – and not on distractions or circumstances. Our mind and heart is consumed by love for God rather than anything else.
Questions To Consider
- What commands has God has given us with our lives, that our fear was preventing us from obeying?
- God’s presence helps remove fear. Are you spending time with him?
- Are you obeying God?