Mark 10:32 (NIVUK)
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid.
Those who followed were afraid. We don’t often talk about being afraid of God, but that’s often the response in the Bible to those who have an encounter with the divine, or even with the supernatural such as angels. Why is this? Should we be scared of what he might do to us? Is there something horrifying about him, or violent about him that makes us fearful for our safety or sanity? Not at all – God is love, after all, he is joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. There is nothing there to be scared of, is there? I wonder if it is simply a natural reaction to his otherness: he is beyond us, greater than us, is on different scale to us, and is beyond our comprehension? The unknown and other can easily unsettle us and make us fearful. But this of course is why the incarnation was so important. Through becoming human, God became accessible to us, we were able to grasp in ways that we can relate to and manage, who he is and what he is like. Of course, he had also just challenged their understanding of who they were too, and the loss of what we had thought were good foundations can also unsettle us.
Thank you for sending us your Son so that we need no longer be afraid or ignorant. Help us, in some way, to represent you like this to those around us.