Do Not Be Afraid

On at least three occasions during the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, an angel sent from God gave comfort by saying, “Do not be afraid.”

As the angel Gabriel appeared before Zacharias to reveal that he and his wife would finally have a son, he said, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:13). They would experience God’s grace firsthand, and that son would be John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ (Luke 1:17).

Six months later, Gabriel stood before Mary and again said, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:30). She was going to be the miraculous mother of Jesus who would experience God’s plan in a unique way.

After His birth, “an angel of the Lord” appeared standing before some shepherds (Luke 2:9). The Bible tells us that “the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened” (Luke 2:9). That angel said, again, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 2:9).

While Zacharias, Mary, and the shepherds were likely most afraid because they stood in the presence of a mighty angel, the unfolding of God’s plan and the sending of His Son would eventually give everyone reason to “Do not be afraid.” Because of God’s love and grace toward us, we do not need to live in fear but in a peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Matt Langfield