In Luke 13 we have a story of the Pharisees making the assumption that if they can get Jesus afraid of Herod he will run away. The scripture says, “At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, ‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’ He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work’” (Luke 13:31 – 32). Jesus refused to let his life be determined by fear. He stayed faithful to his mission. As Stanley Hauerwas says, “Jesus does not fear Herod, but the Herods of this world fear Jesus.” Those in power fear Jesus and his followers because his followers presume that the world can be controlled by something more powerful than fear. Love. Perfect love cast out fear.
What has you afraid today? Refugees? Loss of job? Poor health? Criticism? Being found to be less than perfect? Fear of failure? Are you fearful for someone you love?
Out of fear, they had Jesus crucified. But even fear could not keep him down. The power of love raised Jesus from the grave. And it will be the power of love, not fear that will make our world beautiful again. If you want to see what peace looks like, let go of fear. If you want to know what hope is, let go of bitterness. If you want to experience joy, let go of hate. If you want love, let go of anger. Seek after God. The psalmist says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4).