Was Jesus Hypocritical About Fear?

Luke 12:4 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more."


John 7:1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life.


The latter and other verses are used by Skeptics to charge Jesus with hyposcrisy, and to accuse Jesus of cowardice and lacking conviction of the sort predicated in Luke 12:4.

This is an instance of confused categories. One such Skeptic, for example, interprets Luke 12:4 to mean that one should "display character and fortitude by having the courage and stamina to stand up fro your convictions in the face of adversity." But even granting that this is a correct exegesis - and it is not - how does it prohibit escaping persecution or death when it is possible to do so? If Jesus had given up his convictions to avoid death, that would be another matter, but none of the verses show this.

The Skeptic further retorted that, "Because of fear [Jesus] exercised good judgment and fled. Fear is certainly present. Otherwise, why did he flee?" One wonders how it is known that fear was "certainly present". It doesn't require fear to get out of the way of a rolling boulder; just common sense. If the boulder is far off, and you see it coming, you don't need to be fearful to deduce, "If I stay here, I will be crushed. It would be a good idea to move."

-JPH