When the original twelve disciples were sent out with instructions about where to go, what to take and not take, where to stay and not stay and who to be careful and cautious around, they were also told, “I send you out as sheep among wolves, therefore be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). The very first ‘beware’ is then given next and it is a warning about where ‘first fear’ might come from. “Beware of men, for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues”(v.11). This is a fair warning that the Kingdom message will go head-to-head against established religion. Only those who have had a good ‘synagogue whipping’ know what this is about, and should not be surprised but actually comforted to know they are on the right path. Going before ‘governors and kings’ and ‘when they deliver you up’ (vs. 18-19) are the background for the ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ teaching.
“Do not fear, only believe.” Jesus