Afraid Don’t Be Afraid!
Luke 1:13, 19, 30; 2:10; The Desire of Ages, pp. 47, 97, 98
Because God is our friend, we are not afraid of Him.
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
Were you ever afraid of thunder? of lightning? of the dark? of people who shout? Jamie didn’t like thunderstorms, especially when they came in the night. But his mother knew that. She always came to be with him. “Don’t be afraid,” she would say. “I’ll stay with you. It will be all right.” And then Jamie could go back to sleep. In Bible days when God sent an angel to talk to someone, He first made sure that they were not afraid.
Recently we learned about an angel’s visit to Zechariah, a Temple priest. God sent an angel to stand by the altar where he served. Zechariah, the elderly priest, was frightened—but not for long. The angel immediately soothed Zechariah’s fear. “Do not be afraid,” the angel said. “God has heard your prayer.” Then the angel told Zechariah some wonderful news. His wife, Elizabeth, would have a baby, and they were to name the baby John. Later God wanted to tell Mary that she would have a special baby boy. Again He sent an angel to carry the message. To keep from frightening Mary, the angel spoke softly. “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). Now, greetings are friendly words. Enemies don’t send each other greetings; they send threats. But even so Mary was troubled—and maybe a little frightened. So the angel spoke more plainly. “Do not be afraid, Mary.” There it was again—that special message from God: Do not be afraid.
God sent the same message to the shepherds the night Jesus was born. When the angel messenger appeared, glory and brightness shone, lighting up the night sky.
The shepherds were afraid. In his book Luke says that these brave men were terrified. But then the angel spoke. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” And the angel told them about the special Baby born in Bethlehem. They would find Him lying in a manger. When at last the angel 47voices were hushed and the bright light had faded, the shepherds were no longer afraid.
“Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that the Lord has told us about,” they said. No longer afraid, they hurried to look for Jesus.
So when God speaks, He doesn’t mean to frighten us. He wants everyone to hear the friendly message “God is with us.” There is no need to be afraid. God is our friend; we need not be afraid of Him.