DayBreaks for 12/11/13 – I Expect More of You
NOTE: Galen will be traveling the week of 12/8. New DayBreaks will resume the following week.
From the DayBreaks Archive, 2003:
Matthew 11:20-24 (MsgB) – “Next Jesus let fly on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way. 21″Doom to you, Chorazin! Doom, Bethsaida! If Tyre and Sidon had seen half of the powerful miracles you have seen, they would have been on their knees in a minute. 22At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you. 23And Capernaum! With all your peacock strutting, you are going to end up in the abyss. If the people of Sodom had had your chances, the city would still be around. 24At Judgment Day they’ll get off easy compared to you.”
Just like the tri-city area in Minneapolis and other locations around the country, the land of Palestine had a famous tri-city area, too. In this passage, the three cities that Jesus addresses are Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. What do we know about these cities?
Chorazin: we don’t know anything more about this city as it is not mentioned anywhere else. It is believed to have been 2 miles from the city of Capernaum.
Bethsaida: this was the location of the miracle of the feeding of the 6000, of the blind man who received his sight and numerous other healings of those who were sick. It was also the home of 3 of the apostles.
Capernaum: this city was Jesus’ home once he began his public ministry. As such, it is a place where he commonly taught in the synagogue, and there are several passages that refer to this. In addition, it was the location of the healing of the centurion’s servant, of Peter’s mother-in-law, of the paralytic who was healed, the casting out of an evil spirit/demon, and the healing of a child. Because this was the home of Jesus during his ministry, this was the most favorable place on earth, a city with tremendously exalted privileges.
What caused Jesus’ anger to be directed against these three cities? Simply this: these 3 towns were the location of nearly 50% of the recorded miracles that Jesus performed. If I may take the liberty of paraphrasing what Jesus was saying, it’s this: “I expect more of you than this…”. After all, having witnessed such testimonies to the fact that he was the Son of God, they should have responded better to him than they did. In fact, of the three heathen cities he referred to (Tyre, Sidon and Sodom), it is said that they’ll fare better in the day of judgment than Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. It should not surprise us, therefore, to learn that all 3 of the cities in Galilee that Jesus mentioned no longer exist…they are merely piles of rubble where life once thrived.
But, while all this is interesting (at least I think it is!), I would be guilty of a huge oversight if I fail to apply the word to my life. I’ve seen God do many things in my lifetime, many mighty and wonderful things, and what has been my response? If you are a child of His, you’ve seen great things, too. How have you responded? What would Jesus say to us, if instead of naming towns, he named names that included you and I?
Luke 12:48 (NLT) – “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.”
Copyright by 2003 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: God of mercy, Lord of grace – we are speechless because of your goodness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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