Posted under Reflections on July 12th, 2010 by

Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum: 'Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.' For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you."  (Mt11:20-24)


In this passage Jesus speaks about three types of towns. They are: 1) Chorazin and Bethsaida, 2) Tyre and Sidon, 3) Sodom. These three groups of towns are talked about in context of God’s mighty works and repentance. They are also compared among themselves in this context.

Since the discussion is about repentance, we can guess that the people were going in the wrong direction from what Jesus was preaching. Jesus was in Capernaum and the two towns that he was talking about are close to the place where he was. Jesus was talking about a kingdom of peace mercy love etc. But the people wanted to go on war with the opponents and establish a kingdom. So Jesus asked for repentance.

If the people do not repent then the consequences are presented like destruction. Sodom is presented as an example. God’s judgement will be severe on the towns which do not follow God’s ways. Day of Judgement will reveal the relationship of the town to God’s invitation. 


Posted under Reflections on July 12th, 2010 by

  "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man 'against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household.' "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it… (Mt 10:34-11:1)

It is a strange and difficult passage to understand and to follow. Has Jesus come to cause division among us? Has he come to destroy peace that is in the family? Is not the family that builds up the society? New testament also speaks a lot about caring for one another in the family. 

Jesus does not say that his followers will find themselves splitting the family. He is talking about priorities. He is making remarkable and quite drastic claims. He is not saying that following him mattered more than the family union rather he says that allegiance to him should become the top priority. Allegiance to him was itself very difficult for his disciples (Peter denied, Judas betrayed).

It may be worth reading Micah 7:6. This speaks of the terrible divisions that will take place when God does something new. Jesus came to establish a new way of being God’s people. Allegiance to Jesus was the top priority for this new group of people. To be with Jesus is to be with God. Anyone who acknowledges Jesus accepts Jesus is acknowledged and accepted by Jesus in front of the Father. 

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