Don’t Be Afraid: Beloved Sheep
If you were to ask the average person what prohibition is found more than any other in Scripture, you would most likely hear responses like these:
While these are all reasonable guesses, the actual answer might surprise you.
More than any other prohibition in Scripture, God reminds us again and again with this command: “Don’t be afraid!”
The great evangelist D. L. Moody had a favorite verse. It was Isaiah 12:2: “I will trust and not be afraid.” Moody used to say, “You can travel to heaven first-class or second-class. First-class is, ‘I will trust and not be afraid.’ Second-class is, ‘When I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.’ ” Jesus’ desire is for us to travel first-class.
Jesus’ Words to Us
In one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Jesus echoes Isaiah 12:2, when He says, “ ‘Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’ ” (Luke 12:32). The natural question to ask after hearing these words is, “Why shouldn’t I be afraid?” The biblical answer is that we serve a God who is a shepherd, father, and king.
First, God is our Shepherd. Jesus says, “Do not fear, little flock” (emphasis mine). If we are God’s flock, then He is our Shepherd. King David declares this truth when he says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). The idea is that with God as our Shepherd, we have no reason to fear.
Not only is God our Shepherd, He is also our Father. As Jesus says in Luke 12, “[I]t is your Father’s good pleasure . . .” Like an earthly father who knows how to give good gifts to his children, our Father in heaven gives good things to His children who ask Him (see Matthew 7:11). So we don’t have to be afraid because we have a loving Father in heaven.
And finally, God is our King. Jesus teaches this when He says, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” God can give us the kingdom because He is the King. The psalmist declares this in Psalm 10:16, “The Lord is King forever and ever . . .” If God is our King, then that means He is sovereign and in control. We have nothing to fear.
Two words in Luke 12:32 grab my attention. They are Jesus’ words: “Little flock.” Those words have a ring of affection to them.
Jesus is essentially saying, “You are dear to Me. You’re precious and special.”
The word little also speaks of our numbers as Christians.
Sometimes it seems like our numbers are quite large.
The real Christian is a member of a little flock.
You want to know who the real minority is in America today? It’s the genuine follower of Jesus Christ. That’s because when you get down to it, you are still a minority in your neighborhood, workplace, and perhaps even in your family.
There may be those who claim to be Christian, but as far as genuinely walking with and having a relationship with Jesus Christ, our numbers are and will continue to be comparatively small. Jesus himself said, “[N]arrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14).
So, remember this today. God is your Shepherd, Father, and King. And you are a part of His little flock, His beloved sheep, whom He loves very much.
And for that reason, you don’t have to be afraid.