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We had visitors, one of whom was a young man with long hair and a bushy beard. My neighbour entered the house and saw the young man in front of him. He started laughing and said: ‘I got such a fright now; I thought it was Jesus and then I thought of all my sins.’ (See photo of Bruce Marchiano in the role of Jesus as a Man of joy and compassion in the film The Gospel of Matthew).

           We read in the Bible that people who knew Jesus, even his disciples, were sometimes afraid of Jesus because of who He was and what He could do.  One day Jesus, together with his disciples, was in a boat on the lake of Galilee. A storm raged and Jesus slept: The disciples went to Jesus and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master! We are about to die!” Jesus got up and gave an order to the wind and to the stormy water; they quieted down, and there was a great calm. Then he said to the disciples, “Where is your faith?” But they were amazed and afraid, and said to one another, “Who is this man? He gives orders to the winds and waves, and they obey him!”  (Luke 8:22 – 25).

           Shortly after Jesus’ resurrection his disciples were gathered with some other people. They were scared when Jesus suddenly stood amongst them and said: “Peace be with you.” They were terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. But he said to them, “Why are you alarmed? Why are these doubts coming up in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet, and see that it is I myself” (Luke 24:34 – 39).

            Jesus is the greatest gift that God, out of love, could have given the world. Jesus came for the redemption of all: For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life (John 3:16). He healed the sick. He didn’t condemn the woman who committed adultery. It is Jesus who felt pity for those in jail. He cried with Martha and Maria over the death of their brother. He washed the feet of the disciples. Jesus said that whoever saw Him, saw the Father. Our Father is like a father whose eyes are fixed on the horizon, waiting for the return of his child, and who embraces him and prepares a feast for him when he arrives.

           We must always remember that Jesus is our friend. The Evil One is our enemy:  For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age (Eph. 6:11-12). Jesus said about the devil: “From the very beginning he was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies” (John 8:44).

           Those who believe, even the biggest sinners, need never be afraid to turn to Jesus. The Lord says to people who realise how terrible their sins are and who think they are beyond redemption, people who see God as a judge whom they couldn’t dare to approach: The LORD says, “Now, let’s settle the matter. You are stained red with sin, but I will wash you as clean as snow. Although your stains are deep red, you will be as white as wool.” (Is. 1:18).

           We need not be afraid at all to turn to Jesus. He invites us as we are. We don’t even need to change before we approach Him with remorse; He will change us. His Spirit will come to stay in us and make us new, and to Him shall be all the glory.


Thank you, Lord, for loving us so much that You died for our sins. Because of that we never need to be afraid to approach You about anything. Amen.

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