Friday, June 5, 2009

Fearful Encounters with the Glory of Christ

Have you ever noticed the numerous accounts of people in the Gospels being "afraid" or "filled with great fear" at the manifestations of the glory of Jesus? I'm finding this quite frequently in my reading of the Gospels, here are a few examples from the Gospel of Luke alone:

Luke 5:8-10
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."

Luke 7:14-16
Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and "God has visited his people!"

Luke 8:25
He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?"

Luke 8:35-27
Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.

Luke 9:34-35
As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!"


Mike said...

I think about this as it relates to myself at the judgment. While knowing that I can confidently approach the throne of grace only because of Christ, and that I am forgiven of ALL sin -- past, present, and future -- I still have this tremendous sense of righteous "fear" of when my life will be laid before the throne of the Almighty to be judged.

It's not a "scared" fear, but a fear I can't quite find words to describe yet.

Steve Spray said...

I find these passages fascinating. In a way, I am envious of their experiences.