March 24

Text: Matthew 11:20-24

 Then He began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.  "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you.  And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you." (NASB)

One of the reasons for Jesus performing miracles was his desire to move people to repentance.  If Jesus’ words returned physical bodies to health, then Jesus’ teachings could heal souls.  His compassion for physical distress/disease gave believability to his compassion for spiritual distress/disease.  If there was the power of physical healing in his words, there must be the power of spiritual healing in his teachings.

However, since he demonstrated reason to repent, Jesus in that demonstration gave people the responsibility to repent.  Repentance involves recognizing errors exist in us, regretting those errors, and choosing to redirect life away from the forces/influences that produced the errors.  Jesus’ compassion does not remove all responsibility, but gives increased responsibility to “see” and to “act.”

The miracles that Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum saw left them unimpressed.  Those occurrences would have resulted in repentance in places like Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom (the symbols of wicked behavior).  Rejection of Jesus’ acts would result in death and harsher penalties in judgment!

God’s incredible gifts increase our responsibility to respond to His compassion revealed in Jesus.

Suggestion for reflection: How do you respond to divine compassion?  (Read Jonah 3:5-10.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell