Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Do Not Fear

Matthew 17:6-7
(6)  When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified.
(7)  But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear."

(6)  καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα. 
(7)  καὶ προσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἁψάμενος αὐτῶν εἶπεν, Ἐγέρθητε καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

I have no great exegetical insight today.  However, I do think that this passage bears mention.  Whenever I read the account of the Mount of Transfiguration I try to put myself in the scene.  Peter, James, and John were chosen to go up on this mountain with Jesus.  They had been walking with Jesus for some time and had seen some pretty amazing things.  They had seen Him feed multitudes, heal the sick, and even calm a storm.  They knew that Jesus was special.

This experience blew them away.  It's hard for us to imagine what it would be like for a first-century Jew to stand in the presence of Moses, Elijah, and Messiah.  Then on top of it they got to hear the voice of YHWH speak from heaven.  It is clear that this experience overwhelmed them.  Encounters with greatness will do that.  Yet after it all Jesus commands them to rise and not fear.  The words  Ἐγέρθητε and φοβεῖσθε are both imperatives.

Where are you with this?  If you've never found yourself on your knees in fear then I'm not sure you really know God.  We can't get to "rise up and do not fear" unless we are first prostrate before a holy God.  Have you fallen on your face before Him?  Do you realize the problem for all of us apart from the grace Jesus extends in His command to "rise up and do not fear?"  My prayer is that you do.

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