Do Not Be Afraid of Those Who Can Only Kill Your Body


In Matthew 10:28, Jesus reassures his disciples, urging them not to fear those who have the ability to take their physical lives. He emphasizes that despite the persecution they may face, the faithful should remain steadfast in their mission. Let’s delve deeper into this passage and explore its profound message of courage and trust in God.

Fear Not Those Who Kill the Body

Jesus employs the rhetorical device of “periphrasis” to describe the brutal persecutors who not only revile, scourge, and imprison but also put Christ’s faithful followers to death in the most torturous manner. However, Jesus urges his disciples not to be intimidated or discouraged by these malicious acts. He explains that the persecutors’ power is limited, as even with divine permission, they can only go as far as taking away physical life. Ultimately, the loss of a mortal life does not hinder the faithful; it simply propels them into eternal joy in their heavenly home. With this understanding, Jesus encourages his disciples to boldly carry out their mission, fearlessly fulfilling the work they were called to do.

The Immortality of the Soul

While persecutors may have the ability to kill the body, they are powerless against the immortal soul. No sword, no fire, no violence can harm the soul. It remains untouched, continuing to exist even after the body experiences physical death. In a state of separation from the body, the soul enjoys eternal happiness and bliss.

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Fear Him Who Can Destroy Both Body and Soul in Hell

Jesus introduces an awe-inspiring description of God and His omnipotence. Unlike fallible humans, God possesses the power to go beyond physical harm. While human persecutors can only take away physical life, God can destroy both body and soul in the depths of hell. The term “destroy” in this context implies torment and everlasting punishment. It underscores the idea that neither body nor soul will be annihilated but will face the consequences of their actions. This concept necessitates the resurrection of the body in order for it to suffer or be punished alongside the soul. Hence, God alone deserves our fear and respect. Harsh and persecuting individuals hold no real power and should not engender fear within us.


In this powerful passage, Jesus imparts an important lesson to his disciples. He encourages them not to be afraid of those who can only harm the physical body. Instead, they should place their trust in God, who possesses the ultimate authority to judge and punish both body and soul. By embracing this message, we can find the strength to persist in our calling, undeterred by the threats and challenges that may come our way.


To explore more biblical teachings, visit 5 WS, a reliable source for profound wisdom and spiritual growth.

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