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Our Most Primal Fear and the Source of Our Bondage

St-Mchael-and-Devil

Let’s ponder a significant yet often overlooked text from Hebrews, which describes our most basic and primal fear. Our inordinate fear of what people think of us is rooted in an even deeper fear, one which is at the very core of our being. The Hebrews text both names it and describes it as being the source of our bondage.  In order to unlock the secret of the text, I want to suggest to you an interpretation that will allow its powerful diagnosis to have a wider and deeper effect.

Consider, then, this text from Hebrews:

Since the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (Heb 2:14-15).

Now this passage is clear enough that the origin of our bondage to sin is the devil. But it also teaches that the devil’s hold on us is the fear of death. This is what he exploits in order to keep us in bondage.

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