"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. "Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."
Chorazin and Bethsaida have disappeared from the record. There have been many preachers in many centuries speaking many words in many towns, and practically all of them disappeared without trace. But it is strange to find Jesus in that company. He did great deeds there, but nothing whatsoever is heard of them. Even the towns themselves have disappeared. There is complete silence.
There is good silence, but this was not good silence. It is the silence of the barren ground where the seed of God’s Word could not find soil. It is the barrenness of the unloving heart. How amazing to think of the vast tracts of the world that have never come to fruit! Even the words and actions of Jesus seem to leave no trace in so many places.
How can one live with such a thought? But we are not the measure. We can't even say when we ourselves have failed. What looks like total failure and emptiness is often the doorway to a new life. How could we say that Jesus failed, except in a material sense? If he is to teach us to stop trying to measure success, there has to be a Chorazin, there has to be a Bethsaida.
|Back to calendar|