As I read the story of Jesus’ birth and the events that led up to it, I find a common theme. Repeatedly angels brought messages to people of God but first were told not to be afraid.
If we believe in God and know that He loves us as we say, then why do we live in constant fear? Shouldn’t we and these believers from so long ago know that God only loves us and desires to bless us?
In Luke chapter 1 I see that Zachariah, a priest in God’s temple, is met by an angel of the Lord with an amazing message. The first thing the angel says in Luke 1:13 is, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.” We know that the answered prayer was the soon coming birth of his son, John the Baptist, who would lead the way for the Messiah. I then found later in this same chapter of Luke in verse 30 a similar message when Mary is visited by an angel and the scripture tells us she is “greatly troubled.” “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.”” This was not Mary’s plan and not what she anticipated hearing but God’s message was one of great peace and joy for the entire world!
Then comes Joseph, another key player in this account who is understandably very upset to find that the woman he loves is now “with child” and he knows he is not the father. Again, in a dream this time, an angel comes to him and says, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20. God wants Joseph to know that no matter how terrible this situation appears to be, He is in control and has a plan that will blow his mind if he only trusts and obeys His instructions.
The last group I found was the shepherds who were just doing their job when all of a sudden the skies were filled with angelic hosts singing and proclaiming the birth of our Savior. I like to think I would love to have seen this majestic scene but I can certainly understand why it teetered between spectacular and terrifying all at the same time.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11. This experience gives getting someone’s undivided attention a whole new meaning.
Now, I want you to understand that Zachariah, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds were all very much like you and I. They were all very different people but they all served the same God. They all proclaimed to be followers of God and feared Him, yet when they actually came face to face with His messengers they were first fearful instead of joyful. When God gives us a message, especially one that seems impossible or unbelievable in this world’s realm, we become fearful for we are no longer in control.
God never sends us a message to harm us but only to bless us and bring glory to His kingdom. His goals include loving us and using us to bring others to experience His salvation.
So, don’t feel bad the next time God gives you a message or promise that seems unattainable and you become fearful. Instead, think of the Christmas story. Remember to not be afraid of any message that comes from the Lord and how God used each of the people in the first Christmas to bring salvation to the world! God may have an amazing plan in the works that you are an important part of so, don’t be afraid!
By Jessica Daly | Freelance Writer | Website