Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “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.
Matthew 11 : 20 – 22
These people in these cities have witnessed a majority of Jesus’ miracles, signs, and wonders, and yet they have not repented. It makes me think of times when I have thought that I was okay, because the good people were around me doing good things, so surely I wasn’t in the wrong, and didn’t need to do anything to apologize and seek forgiveness.
Jesus is telling them, in language not of cursing, but a compassionate declaration of misery, that they are not getting it. They are missing the point of what he is doing in those areas. The two cities he mentions, Tyre and Sidon, are both cities with a contempt for religion and lots of luxury and wealth. If Jesus had done the work he did in that area of Galilee, in Tyre and Sidon, those people would have recognised what he was doing and would have repented.
How often do we miss the point of the work that is being done? It can be right in front of our face and we miss it. Jesus is calling us to notice what he is up to in this world. We are also called to remember that we receive forgiveness and grace from God through Jesus. Let’s not sit idly by thinking we are okay, but let us continue to be thankful for the grace and forgiveness we are continually given, and live our lives from that gratefulness.
Prayer: Jesus, you were in this world, performing miracles, and preaching forgiveness, and yet your message wasn’t lived out by the people receiving it. May we be a people who live out your message of grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation. May we continue to listen out for you, and root our lives in your teaching. Thank you for your love, grace, and forgiveness. May we never take it for granted. Amen.
Action: Watch and listen out for the ways Jesus is teaching you. Take nothing for granted.