Jesus is sending out the seventy two right now. Before they leave He has a few words to say about the cities that have already been visited extensively. He also shares Who His group is really taking to the people.
Jesus has been using Capernaum as His home base since beginning His public ministry. He spend much of His time in this area. The area also included the cities He lists in His pronouncement of woes. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida” (verse 13). He also pronounced judgement on Capernaum.
These cities had Jesus personally walking in their streets, teaching in their synagogues, healing the sick, binding up demons, and even raising the dead. Yet the city as a whole rejected Him and His message. ALL these miracles did not bring these cities to their knees in repentance. I’m going to bank on the fact that these three cities were NOT on the list to receive missionary visits from the seventy two. Jesus words here pretty much amounted to Him shaking the dust off His feet against these three cities.
Not everyone in these cities were cursed or damned. Many of the people Jesus ministered to were changed forever. Peter, Andrew, James and John all came from Capernaum. But on the whole the citizens refused to believe what was put before them every day. Jesus said that if the pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon had seen these kinds of miracles in the same degree that they would certainly have repented as a whole city.
Even Nineveh repented as a whole. All it took for them was one prophet puked up by a whale, calling out in the streets for repentance. Nineveh was a wicked city but they listened. Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin did not. They will be held accountable in the end.
We today are going to face those same standards at judgement time. SO many miracles have been done in our nation and even in our homes, yet many refuse to believe. HOW!? Even some of my own children refuse to believe. My heart breaks at this knowledge. How could they see and yet still refuse to see? What more does He have to do to convince them? Convince us?
Jesus next words let those He is sending out know what is at stake. Those that refuse to listen to them are not simply dismissing them but dismissing Jesus and ultimately dismissing God. Those who receive what these men are sharing receive Jesus and God in the process.
The same holds true for God’s word today. Those who receive the witness of these men who walked with Him and learned of Him receive Jesus and God. We receive ALL His promises when we accept the truth of His word. Please listen! Eternity is at stake for each and every person. And today it is not the “city’s fault” it is each and every individual’s decision where you will spend your eternity.
Father God, thank You for all the miracles You have done in my life. Thank You that You provide proof every day of Who You are. I don’t know how to reach my children who have refused to see, but I know You do. You told me that every promise is mine and the one I’m clinging to is “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). I trust You to keep this promise. I don’t know how old they have to be and what has to occur in between, but I give them into Your hands. Bring them back to You Lord, whatever it takes.