Did Jesus fear?


The Bible teaches that we should not fear. "For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (I John 4:18). We know that Jesus was the only man to live a life without sin.

Did Jesus fear as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane? “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:42-44).


"By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love" (I John 4:17-18).

In the context that John is speaking, he is discussing how we think about facing God on the Day of Judgment. A mature (perfected) Christian doesn't dread the Judgment because he lives a life consistent with the expectations of God. He does so because he loves God and he knows that God loves him. It is much like the apostle Paul when he faced the end of his life. "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing" (II Timothy 4:6-8). If someone fears Judgment Day, it is because they know they have done wrong and what they are fearing is the punishment they believe they deserve.

"And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44).

The Greek word agonia is translated as "agony." It refers to the intense focus and effort of an athlete. Of this word, Albert Barnes wrote, "The word agony is taken from the anxiety, fear, effort, and strong emotion of the wrestlers in the Greek games, about to engage in a mighty struggle. Here it denotes the extreme anguish of mind; the strong conflict produced between sinking human nature and the prospect of deep and overwhelming calamities."

We know that Jesus was not looking forward to his death upon the cross and the suffering he would have to endure. "Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour" (John 12:27). Jesus dreaded what was coming up, but it would not stop him from accomplishing his mission. Perhaps some would call this a fear, but it is not the fear of judgment that John was discussing in I John 4. Jesus did not fear facing God, the Father; rather, he looked forward to returning home. It was the means of reaching home that he knew was required that he was in agony about.

The mistake you made was to take a passage about a type of fear and tried to generalize it to all fears and all dreads.


Thank you very much for your answer. May our God bless and keep you.

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