The Weekly Word: Jesus calms our fears
By Rev. Daniel Larson, Pastor, Cross Lutheran Church
Simon Peter and his friends were fishermen when they first knew Jesus. After a long night of catching nothing, they were ready to call it quits.
But then Jesus came and told them to put out their nets into the deep water. It was now the hottest part of the day and a catch seemed even less likely at this point. But the miraculous catch that Jesus provided for them ripped their nets and caused their boats to sink!
It was at this point that Simon Peter exclaimed, “‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him” (Luke 5:10-11).
Peter immediately realized that Jesus wasn’t just an ordinary man, but the Son of God. And when he realized the power that Jesus possessed, it frightened him.
More than ever, he felt the big difference between himself and God. He was a sinner and God was not. He realized that he was entirely at God’s mercy.
Have you ever felt that way? Maybe it was gazing up into the night sky at all the stars in their vast array. Maybe it was a huge thunderstorm or some crashing sea waves that first made you realize how big God is and how small you are.
When we contemplate the awesome wonders of God in this world and throughout the universe in which we live, we sometimes feel the same way Peter did.
Sometimes we may think that we better distance ourselves from God because of our sinfulness. After all, He is perfect and we are not.
The Bible also tells us that God has every right to punish us for all eternity because of our sin. And all of this can make us afraid of God.
The miracles that Jesus performed had the same effect on people. But at the same time, they were done to call attention to an important fact about God: that He is all-powerful and merciful, and that in Christ, God came here to save us. This is why Jesus calms our fears.
Jesus told Peter, “Do not be afraid.” As the Son of God, Jesus was not there to harm Peter. He was there to save him, and that is just what He did when He died on the cross and rose again.
The words of Jesus calm our fears before a holy God. Now we don’t need to cry, “Away from me, Lord, for I am a sinner!” Instead, in the peace of Christ’s forgiveness, we can follow Him in this life unto the gates of heaven.
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Cross Lutheran Church is a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. We invite you to come and hear more about the calming effect that Christ’s love can have upon you.