OUT OF CONTEXT:
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
OUT OF CONTEXT PARAPHRASE:
“If you think evil men in their persecutions will do horrific things to you, just wait and see what God will do! Don’t waste energy dreading your death; dread the fire of hell that will follow if you don’t toe the line!“
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:28-31)
IN CONTEXT PARAPHRASE:
Yes, evil men may persecute you and torture you and even kill you. But that is the end of their power over you. In your hour of terror, remember that you are always held securely in the strong and tender hands of your Father. Yes, he has the power to destroy your body and your soul, but he is not like the evil man. He has no desire to prove himself greater than men in everything – even in evil. Turn away from the threats of men and gaze at the fearsome one. When he is the only thing you fear, his love will relieve all your fear.
Your Father is not like men. Though he is awesome and powerful beyond your imagination, he is tender and affectionate toward you. He pays close attention to the tiniest sparrow that men consider worthless; how much more attention must he give you, his most precious creation? He watches over you like a mother over her baby. In his unknowable greatness he is near in every moment of your life; he listens to every silent cry of your heart; he calms every fear and soothes every sorrow, if only you will hear him. Don’t be afraid of him.