I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more
Luke 12:4 NIV
In this verse, what stands out to me is how belittled the body is. It’s literally telling us that they can kill us but it stops pretty much there. That’s about the worst they can do. When I read this, I was like ‘killing is pretty serious, bruh, I mean that’s your life right there’. That’s a very earthly way to think.
It reminded me of the time I stood in front of my class ready to talk about Jesus and I hesitated. I was afraid of what they were going to say. I was scared of the way people would look at me afterwards. I didn’t want to be the crazy Jesus freak. I was afraid. I almost put my fear of a bunch of comments and opinions above my fear of God. I mean, what’s the worst they could have done? They could have laughed or mocked and that was about it. But what can God do though? I went back to my seat. At the time it felt pretty normal to just give in but now that I think about it, my fear was misplaced.
Update: I stood right back up and preached! Nobody laughed right away but in the days after I did get a few mockeries here and there. That’s it!
This little anecdote allows me turn the verse into a relatable situation. The clear meaning, without having to read between the lines is, fear God not man. Whatever you think man can do that is so awful, God can do worse.
But I will show you whom you should fear: fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Luke 12:5 NIV