20 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. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.23 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. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
Matthew 11:20-24 (New International Version)
Not Being Right
When Jesus was on the earth, He performed many amazing miracles from casting out demons to causing the blind to see. In many towns, Jesus taught about the Word of God to the people and how they can live a life that is right before God. One would think, after seeing and hearing all these things, the people would apply Jesus’s words to their lives. However, as we read from verses 20-24 of Matthew 11, this was not the case.
Not Heeding the Call
The Words that Jesus proclaimed to the people was a call to repentance; to turn away from their sins and accept Him as their Lord and Savior; and to take His words and apply them to their lives. However, the people who heard the message did not see the urgency to repent. Instead, they felt there was no need to repent, for they believed that because Jesus came to their town, they were special and protected from God’s coming judgement.
The Passive Believer
This notion of being special because Jesus came to their town may seem strange to us in this modern age. Believe it or not however, there are some Christians that believe this way also. After accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior, some believers feel that there is nothing left to do but to sit back and wait for Christ to return. However, just because a Christian is saved by their faith in Jesus, does not mean they are called to be passive in their walk with God.
To Be More Like Christ
It is one thing to listen to God’s Word, however to listen to it and apply what it says to your life is a different matter entirely. Once a person has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they are called daily to be like the One who saved them. In order for this to happen, the believer must turn away from their old lives and move forward to the new life that they have in Christ.
Woe for Lack of Faith
The cities that Jesus went through: Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Capernaum; witnessed the light of God in the flesh and did not turn away from their sin. For their refusal to repent, they missed out on experiencing the new life that can be found in Christ. As a result, the Lord declared woe unto them for their lack of faith.
Embrace the Light
Let us, who have accepted Jesus, embrace the light which He has been given to us the moment we believed. Being a Christian is not a spectator sport. We are called to get off the spiritual bench and play the game of faith for Christ. We must move forward in our faith and apply the principles that the Scriptures reveal to us. For when we do so, we will receive treasures from heaven that surpass anything that we can imagine.