“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people…
to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear.” (Luke 1:66, 74)
There is a popular Christmas song that unwittingly instills fear in the hearts of little ones. You know it well. It goes like this: “You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I’m telling you why…He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows if you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. So be good for goodness’ sake.”
You better watch! Be good for goodness’ sake! Billions of people in this world are motivated by fear. They fear their boss so they work hard. They fear their parents so they make curfew. They fear their spouse so they don’t contradict them. They fear jail time so they don’t cheat on their taxes. Most of our obedience comes from fear of consequences.
But when Jesus comes to town, it’s the end of fear. You don’t need to watch out because he’s making a list and checking it twice. No, Jesus actually delivers you from the things that should really scare you: sin, death, and hell. But wait, there’s more. He not only delivers you from those terrible things, he becomes your new Master who loves you and accepts you. You are no longer a slave, motivated by fear, but free to serve him whole-heartedly with joy.
Now, what about when you slip up and become afraid? It will happen from time to time. Turn your eyes back to Jesus. Again and again and again. Reflect on the fact that no one was reluctant to approach Jesus for fear of being rejected. When you read about this man in the Scriptures, you get the sense that even if you fail him, he’d forgive you. He was always firm, yet kind. He was always truthful, yet never arrogant. He had no sin or shortcoming, yet he was incredibly humble. Don’t you want a Master like that?
Scripture and Reflection Questions
Read Luke 1:66-80
- Read. v. 74. How were Israel’s former “masters” (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Rome. etc.) harsh and cruel? How have your old masters been harsh and cruel?
- Are you afraid of Jesus? Why or why not?
- How does Jesus show himself to be a merciful, gracious Master to you?
- Read v. 79. Have you experienced peace by knowing Jesus? If not, why not?
- Who in your life would benefit from hearing about how Master Jesus has saved you from fear?