Monday, January 16

The most dangerous state

Scripture: Matthew 11

Matthew 11:23–24 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Sodom, it would have continued to this day. 24 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you!”

Observation

Jesus expressed deep sorrow over three Jewish communities—Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum—where he had done many of his miracles, yet they did not repent. He named three Gentile communities known for their wickedness—Tyre, Sidon and Sodom—and said even they would have repented had they seen Jesus’ miracles.

First, we have no record of Jesus’ miracles in either Chorazin or Bethsaida, and yet they must have been many and mighty. It is a reminder of what John said at the end of his gospel: 

John 21:25 There are many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Barclay said, “The things we do not know about Jesus far outnumber the things we do know.” But we have enough to believe:

John 20:30–31 Now Jesus performed many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not recorded in this book.31 But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

It is partial…but it’s enough.

Second, Jesus clearly expected people to respond to his message and miracles with repentance which is turning from sin and turning to God. Belief is inherent in repentance. Failure to repent and believe in Jesus is greater sin than anything ever done in the three notorious Gentile cities. Once again, Jesus makes himself the issue. 

And what was the response of the three Jewish cities? As far as we know it was indifference. Not hostility or opposition—just indifference. Perhaps the most dangerous condition of all is indifference…just not caring. 

Application

One of the things I’m looking forward to in heaven is hearing the rest of the story—all those things Jesus said and did that were not recorded. 

But we have enough to believe and have life. This encourages me to share the story of Jesus, knowing that it’s not the whole story, but it’s enough. 

And today’s reading is a warning against indifference. Don’t ever let yourself get to a state of spiritual indifference! I want to be responsive to Jesus’ work in my life!

Prayer: Lord, I love you. And I never want to be indifferent. Keep me alive, responsive, ready to follow, quick to repent and believe, eager to share.