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.
Who should I be afraid of? Jesus tells me here that I should not fear the one who can only kill my body but has no control over my eternal destiny. What they can do to me is temporary and will soon be over.
Instead, Jesus tells me to fear the one who, after this body has been killed, has the authority to determine my ultimate destiny. And only God can do that. So God is the one I should fear.
But then Jesus starts talking about the price of sparrows, the most common and insignificant of birds. And about the numbering of the hairs on my head. It might be tempting to think that Jesus has changed to a different subject. But he has not.
He goes on to tell me, “Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” I am of great value to God. And he knows me intimately, even to the number of hairs on my head. He knows me better than I know myself. I certainly do not know how many hairs there are on my head.
God is the one to fear. But I do not need to be afraid. Instead, I can find peace and security in him, who loves me more than I can imagine. So I can, and should, walk unafraid through this life, trusting in the one who has called me to be his.