We’ve spent the past few weeks discussing Jesus’ method for recruiting, training, and sending his twelve apostles, as well as additional disciples. Jesus went through this entire process very quickly. He didn’t drag his feet or string the disciples along. Instead, he called them to immediately and completely follow him, he warned them of impending persecution, and then sent them out among the wolves.
Then, as he sent them out, he said, “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim it on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:26-28 ESV).
Anyone who has ever been oppressed, persecuted, or controlled in any way knows how terrifying people can be. People who have power to control others instill a deep sense of fear. They use threats and intimidation to control their victims, rendering them powerless and often physically, emotionally, and spiritually unwell. Jesus was in stark contrast to oppressors. He was a safe shelter for people who lived in constant fear. His disciples were going to be intimidated, beaten, shamed, and threatened to stop speaking.
Jesus didn’t tell them to lay low. Instead, he told them not to fear and to speak truth even louder! This is a timeless message that we still need to hear 2,000 years later!