Fear vs. Reverence – 12/18/20

Erin Pender

Luke 12:4-7 I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 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. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 


Do you remember being terrified of your parents when you did something wrong? Has your heart ever pounded wildly in fear and anxiety when you see blue lights behind you on the highway? This kind of fear is triggered by powers of this world; human authority, the law, fear of man. Other emotions that accompany this fear usually include anxiety, shame, confusion; the list goes on. 

The fear that Luke speaks of in verses four and five is more accurately defined as “reverence”. Whereas fear is an unpleasant emotion, reverence usually comes with a deep respect and a sense of awe. I heard it described so plainly one day by a friend and I will never forget the revelation that I had concerning the character of Christ.  

Fear of man looks like: “Man, I messed up.. my dad is going to be so mad at me.. I don’t think I can go homeI am so scared.” 

Relationship with Jesus looks like: “Oh no, I really messed up. I need to call my dad. He’ll know how to handle this.” 

Fear of God is not going to erase the uncomfortable emotions, but it comes with great reward, loving discipline, and an eternal inheritance. The same hand that could crush us in wrath holds us so gently, lavishing us in grace. 


God, may we be in awe of all that You are. I pray that we learn to hear your voice and accept your loving correction. When people look at our lives, let it be evident that we are sons and daughters of the living God and are trying to become more like Christ every day. Help us run to you with all of life’s problems and never be afraid to seek counsel from other Godly mentors. Thank you for giving us second, third, and fourth chances. I pray that we would have a Holy reverence for your word and your authority. Amen.