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John 7 Part 2: The Fear of Man

"However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

John 7:13

Contrary to popular belief, it's okay to be afraid. It is normal to feel fear. Fear is natural emotion given to us by God. Like every other emotion, if used properly, fear will help us to connect to God and others. The Psalmist uses the emotion of fear properly when he says, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." (Psalm 56:3-4) The proper use of fear can keep us from being injured by dangerous objects, dangerous people, or dangerous circumstances. However, the enemy uses the natural emotion of fear to paralyze, cripple, and destroy. He will turn our emotions of fear into rage, depression, and cowardness.

In today's passage, we see the fear of man. Jesus was a hot topic of conversation. There was much conflict about His miracles, who He was, and where He came from. (John 7:10-12) The fear of man was already strong in Jerusalem. The religious leaders had a tight grip on what was acceptable or unacceptable, and they wanted to kill Jesus for breaking their rules and challenging their authority. Talking about Jesus was a no go and people were afraid of what would happen to them if they challenged the religious authority. This was a real fear. These were dangerous people who put Jesus to death.

The Bible says, "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trust in the Lord will be safe." (Proverbs 29:25) Jesus faced the fear of man. In His case, He drew close to God. He didn't become rageful. He didn't get paralyzed. He didn't act cowardly. He is the perfect example of how to handle fear. Jesus walked with courage. He spoke the truth in love. He confronted the religious leaders on their false system of self-righteousness. The Bible tells us that Jesus delighted in the Fear of God. (Isaiah 11:3) He trusted in God and used the truth as the weapon that defeated the false lies of the enemy.

When we fear God more than we fear man, we will find ourselves walking with courage and boldness. We will find ourselves equipped with power and strength because our trust is in the Lord. When we cling to God's promises, the lies of the enemy will be exposed. Rather than being paralyzed, crippled or enraged because of fear, we will find ourselves moving boldly forward with the greatest power in the world--the power that cast out fear--the power of love!

Blessings to you!

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