OME years ago the slogan "No Fear" was very popular indeed. How about that? Aren't there things of which we should properly be afraid? We know that Jesus repeatedly comforted His friends by offering a kindly "fear not" at key moments. The apostle John indicated in his first epistle that love conquers fear (1st John 4:18). Solomon gives us a little different perspective in Proverbs 29:25 where he juxtaposes the fear of man up against trusting in God. I think Luke makes it all abundantly clear here (in Luke 12:4 & 5) where he records the words of Christ thusly: "I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear Him, which after He has killed has power to cast into hell; yes, I say unto you, Fear Him." There is no interpretation necessary there. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and that's both a New Testament and an Old Testament principle (Proverbs 9:10, Ephesians 5:21 & 1st Peter 2:17).
Sometimes fear is a good description of a healthy respect for a specific danger, even if there are no emotional manifestations associated with that fear. I do not have phobias about germs, rattlesnakes or heights, but I do respect the real dangers attached to each. In Luke 12:15 it is recorded that Christ warned us against the dangers of materialism (which is called covetousness here, and dubbed idolatry elsewhere). He followed that up with a little lesson on "Don't worry!" "Take no thought," He said, for food or cloths (Luke 12:22). And, we usually focus on Luke 12:31 as if it is the peak of this section. But, perhaps the greatest verse in this context is the next one: Luke 12:32, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Notice again that He said, "Fear not!" Fear God; fear nothing else.