Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jesus Denounces Coldness

Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.

"And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

The two key words in this section are “repent” and “judgment.”

Jesus was saying: Because you were given evidence and you refused to repent, you are under the judgment of God for either not deciding for God, or for rejecting His offer of rescue.

Jesus pronounced judgement on Bethsaida, Chorazin and Capernaum. Bethsaida was the home town for five of His disciples. Jesus healed a blind man there, and very near there Jesus fed 5,000 people.

Not much is known about Chorazin.

Jesus had made Capernaum His home town, and many miracles were performed there.

Tyre and Sidon were infamous for their wickedness, and Sodom was considered the epitome of wickedness, yet Tyre, Sidon and Sodom would have repented had they been given the same level of evidence as Jesus was now giving these towns

Read the above passage again. God did judge those wicked cities of old, as recorded in scripture, and Tyre, Sidon and Sodom certainly will be judged by God on the last day, since all people can know God
* Through the witness of creation,
* Through the witness of their own consciences,
* and through an instinctive law of righteousness that God has written into every person's heart.

But why will it be more bearable for those pagan cities than for the people of these Jewish towns?

Because the Jews had far more than the Gentiles.
--> They had God's law,
--> They had His wisdom and prophecies recorded in scripture,
--> They had the temple and the sacrifices,
--> They had God's covenants.

And they had the long prophesied Messiah

Jesus was God incarnate, He was authenticating His deity, but the people were blase, unimpressed, they didn’t want to hear His message. Jesus was heartbroken in His anger over their refusal to repent.

Jesus didn't fit the profile His own people had crafted for their ideal Messiah. So they rejected Him. The people most privileged and able to know the Savior were the people most hardened to receiving Him.

Who would those people be today? People who are religious without actually believing what God's word has to say. People who are more enamored with their religious traditions, and their own good deeds and relgious activity, than they are with God.

Where do you stand in comparison with Tyre, Sidon and Sodom?

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