Yet, consider what Jesus says in our Gospel for this Sunday as we read his words to his disciples, "What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops." Matthew 10:27 Here we get the clear directive that we are not to withdraw and hide; rather, we are to enter the public square with our message! There might have been some reticence on the part of the disciples because of fear of rejection or even for their lives.
Jesus says further, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28 Our fear needs to be less about what other people think and more about what God thinks!
Now, we do get comfort in our witnessing, when Jesus says "Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven." We are those who have God standing behind us. It's all about who or what do we fear the most? Jesus gives us every reason to move forward and not be afraid to witness.
Please reflect on these words of Scripture and what might be your own "fear" regarding witnessing. Then, pray that you will be guided by the Holy Spirit to testify about your Lord.
Discipleship Questions for Reflection
Are there any fears that you have in your life that actually are greater than your fear of God?
Think of someone you know who is unchurched and how you might approach that person to talk about your church or your own faith.
Jesus talks about proclaiming his message from the housetops. What issues in the world might you be willing to address to others in the context of your faith?