The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

“YOU don’t be afraid” (PDF) PDF version

“Fear not YE”

I know, "ye" is not a word you will find in the NKJV that I usually use. It is a word of the good old KJV. I love KJV. I believe that in some points no other English translation can catch the tone of the original language as much as KJV does. But let’s get to our subject, which obviously is not Bible translations! So we are at Matthew 28. It is "towards the first day of the week". Three days before, the religious leaders had crucified the Lord. Joseph from Arimathea put His body in a tomb and the Pharisees sealed the stone and put guards around the tomb. And then, "in the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week"…

Matthew 28:1-6
"… came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lighting, and his raiment white as snow: AND FROM FEAR OF HIM THE KEEPERS DID SHAKE AND BECAME AS DEAD MEN. And the angel answered and said unto the women, FEAR NOT YE FOR I KNOW THAT YOU SEEK JESUS WHO WAS CRUCIFIED. He is not here: for He is risen as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

What impressed me in this passage is that the angel didn’t say "fear not" to the guards. They were terrified. They became as dead men when they saw him. The one that was dead was risen and those who were up guarding him became as dead! But the angel didn’t say a word to them. He didn’t encourage them! And that’s why the word "you", "YE", becomes so important. Turning to the women the angel said: "Don’t be afraid YE". "Don’t look at the guards. They are terrified and that’s what they should be. But not YOU. YOU, follower of Jesus, seeker of Jesus, DON’T BE AFRAID. I don’t say this to those who guard an empty tomb. To those who try to keep the Lord in a tomb. These are terrified but not YOU. For I know that YOU, dear brother, dear sister, seek the Lord and wherever He is, you will be also. Don’t be afraid! "Fear not YE, for I know that you seek Jesus".

In the same tone the holy spirit tells us in I Thessalonians 5:1-10:

I Thessalonians 5:1-10
"But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."

As suddenly as the resurrection came upon the guards, so also the day of the Lord will come. Like a thief in the night. "For when they say peace and safety suddenly destruction comes upon them. And they shall not escape". They will be terrified and nobody will tell them "don’t be afraid". But again, not we dear brethren. For we are not in the darkness so that the day overtake us as a thief. God knows whom we follow. God knows whom we seek. That we seek and wait for Jesus. Therefore, don’t be afraid! For God didn’t appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ! He is coming. Our Lord is coming. YOU, follower, seeker of Jesus, don’t be afraid!

Anastasios Kioulachoglou