Thoughts on the Way Home

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fear Not Little Flock - John Piper


From a sermon on Luke 12:32:

But there is another thing we are prone to fear that goes right to the heart of God. It is perhaps the deepest fear of all and the one that may lie behind all the others. Perhaps that's why Jesus keeps it for last. We see it in verse 32: "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

What fear is Jesus trying to eliminate here?

He is trying to eliminate the fear that God is not the kind of God who really wants to be good to his children. This is a fear that rises up in the hearts of those of us who are prone to feel that God does not want to be gracious to us, that he does not want to be generous and helpful to us. We are prone to think of God as one who is basically irked with us—ill-disposed and angry.

Sometimes even if we believe in our heads that God is good to us, we may feel in our hearts that his goodness is somehow forced or constrained, perhaps like a judge who has been maneuvered by a clever attorney into a corner on some technicality of court proceedings where he must dismiss the charges of the prisoner that he really would rather send to jail.


Jesus knows that the flock of God struggles with fear. He knows that one of those fears is that God is the kind of God who is basically angry and delights most of all to judge sinners and only does good out of a sense of constraint and duty, not delight. Therefore the Lord is at pains this morning to free us from this fear by telling us the truth about God. He has chosen every word for our comfort and joy and peace.

Fear not,
for it is your Father's
good pleasure
to give you
the kingdom!

-John Piper

Read the whole sermon here.