DO NOT BE AFRAID
Whenever there was a divine vision, we see the phrase, “Do not be afraid” in the Bible because of the fear of the visionaries.
Abram: “The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: Do not fear, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great” (Gen 15:1).
Joshua: God said to him, “I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD, your God, is with you wherever you go” (Josh 1:9).
Daniel: “I alone, Daniel, saw the vision; but great fear seized those who were with me; they fled and hid themselves, although they did not see the vision” (Dan 10:7). When Daniel stood up trembling, the divine person told him: “Do not fear, Daniel” (Dan 10:12). “‘Do not fear, beloved. Peace! Take courage and be strong.’ When he spoke to me, I grew strong and said, ‘Speak, my lord, for you have strengthened me’” (Dan 10:19).
Zachariah: The angel of the Lord appeared to him while he was incensing the altar of the Temple. “Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard” (Lk 1:12).
Mary: When Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, “she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God’” (Lk 1:29-30).
Shepherds in Bethlehem: “The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people’” (Lk 2:9-10).
Disciples of Jesus: After feeding five thousand by multiplication of loaves, Jesus came walking on the sea during the fourth watch of the night to the disciples who were on the boat. “They were terrified. ‘It is a ghost,’ they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” (Mt 14:26-27).
Disciples after the resurrection of Jesus: When the Risen Lord appeared to his apostles, despite their familiarity with Jesus, the sudden sight of the Lord terrified them. “While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts?” (Lk 24:36-38).
The holiness of heaven and heavenly beings cause fear for people in the world. Jesus came to purify us for entry into heaven where we will be in joy and peace. Let us be ever mindful of our heavenly goal and live accordingly.