Nothing to Fear


Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” John 11:7-10

Surveys tell us that fear is the No. 1 emotional struggle in our country. Let’s face it, everybody is afraid of something. From crime to cancer and from global security to our most private thoughts, fear presses in on us from every angle.

The disciples were no different. Even as they walked with Jesus, fear dogged their steps. When Jesus said, “Let’s go to Judea again” (John11:7), the disciples thought Uh-oh! They had a flashback to the last time they were in Judea. Perhaps Jesus had forgotten, they must have thought, so they reminded him, saying in essence, “Rabbi, have you forgotten that lately the Jews have been trying to stone you in Judea. They tried to kill us there! We’re afraid to go back.”

But Jesus didn’t hide or sneak around, afraid for his life. Look how he answered the disciples: “If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble” (John 11:9). Often when you trip and fall, it’s because you’re walking around in the dark. In the next verse, Jesus switches from the physical light outside to the spiritual light inside. “But if one walks in the night he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” Jesus said the people who should fear what happens to them are those that don’t have God’s light in their hearts. He told his disciples, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). If you have Jesus’ light inside you, you have nothing to be afraid of.

Sometimes I’m afraid when I’m in the dark, coming up the stairs from the basement or walking around the back of the house late at night when the moon is hidden. It’s hard not to look over your shoulder. I understand that response from a physical point of view, but we shouldn’t be doing something similar in our spiritual lives. We should be walking straight ahead and into the light of Jesus’ promises regardless of what darkness is threatening our spirit.

This year, live with confidence. Don’t live in fear. Starting today, believe with all your heart that in God’s power you will not stumble.

And if you encounter a fearful situation, just keep your feet moving forward with Jesus–He is the light of the world!


Dr. James MacDonald