NO MORE MR. NICE JESUS?
Read MATTHEW 11:20–24
Woe on Unrepentant Towns
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.[a] For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
- Matthew 11:23 That is, the realm of the dead
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Here, Jesus sounds more like the Messianic judge of Malachi 4:1 than the Suffering Servant. Why is he so enraged (v 20)? After all, he is the Savior, delivering the good news of freedom in the kingdom of heaven and backing it up with the physical, emotional and spiritual manifestations of that freedom. What’s not to like?
How would we respond to being healed by Jesus? Could we stop at receiving restoration to bodies that will still age and die, while rejecting spiritual regeneration through repentance that lays hold of the promise of eternal life (Romans 6:22)? But ‘the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9). We are left to wonder how people can taste God’s goodness through Jesus, yet reject peace with God.
God’s grace is such that healing is not conditional on accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord (Luke 17:11–19). Although, Jesus’ words to the man who had been healed of leprosy, suggest his salvation as well as healing (Luke 17:19).
CS Lewis writes of two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done’.** Pray for someone you know who is rejecting Jesus.
Forgiving Lord, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection I am loosed from my sins by his life’s blood. Keep me always ready to confess my sins and return to you.
*Smith Wigglesworth, in Hungering and Thirsting after God, compiler: Dr MH Yeager, Amazon, 2019
**The Great Divorce, Geoffrey Bles (UK), 1945
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