Jesus gives three commands to not fear those who will persecute them (see vv. 21–24) and three accompanying reasons why they are not to fear. (1) Everything that is hidden will be revealed (including evil deeds—see vv. 21–24—and his very words; 26a–27d) (2) Man can only kill the body and not the soul. Rather, they should fear God who can destroy both (28a–28c) (3) They are much more valuable than the sparrows and even God controls their lives (29a–31b) With this command to fear comes a promise (vv.32a–32b): All who confess Christ before others, Christ will confess their faith before the Father. On the contrary, those who deny Christ, he will also deny them for their unbelief. What is the connection therefore between fearing man and confessing Christ? Answer: fearing man leads to an ultimate denial of Christ and his kingdom, which leads one into hell (33a–33b). Those who do not fear man, Christ will bring them securely heaven (32a–b). O how I pray that all Christians would take this to heart !
Μὴ οὖν φοβηθῆτε αὐτούς• *
Therefore, do not fear them,
οὐδὲν γάρ ἐστιν κεκαλυμμένον ὃ οὐκ ἀποκαλυφθήσεται
for nothing concealed will not be revealed
καὶ κρυπτὸν ὃ οὐ γνωσθήσεται.
and hidden that will not be made known.
ὃ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ
What I say to you in the dark
εἴπατε ἐν τῷ φωτί,
speak in the light,
καὶ ὃ εἰς τὸ οὖς ἀκούετε
and what you hear in the ear
κηρύξατε ἐπὶ τῶν δωμάτων.
proclaim upon the roofs.
καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτεννόντων τὸ σῶμα, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν μὴ δυναμένων ἀποκτεῖναι•
And do not fear those kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.
φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν
But rather fear the one who is able to destroy both soul
καὶ σῶμα ἀπολέσαι ἐν γεέννῃ.
and body in hell.
οὐχὶ δύο στρουθία ἀσσαρίου πωλεῖται;
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐ πεσεῖται ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἄνευ τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν.
And one of them will not fall to the ground without your Father.
ὑμῶν δὲ καὶ αἱ τρίχες τῆς κεφαλῆς πᾶσαι ἠριθμημέναι εἰσίν.
And even the every hair of your head has been counted
μὴ οὖν φοβεῖσθε •
Therefore, do not fear.
πολλῶν στρουθίων διαφέρετε ὑμεῖς.
You are worth more than many sparrows.
Πᾶς οὖν ὅστις ὁμολογήσει ἐν ἐμοὶ ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων,
Therefore every one who will confess me before men
ὁμολογήσω κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν [τοῖς] οὐρανοῖς•
I too will confess him before my Father who is in heaven.
ὅστις δʼ ἂν ἀρνήσηταί με ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων,
But whoever will deny me before men
ἀρνήσομαι κἀγὼ αὐτὸν ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν [τοῖς] οὐρανοῖς.
I too will deny him before my Father who is in heaven.