Matthew 11:20-24, Luke 10:13-14
This is the first day of our tour and the first site we visit is Chorazin.
Facts about Chorazin
- Two miles north of the Sea of Galilee and north of the site for Capernaum.
- The Talmud mentions its fame for wheat in the first and early second centuries, but by the second half of the third century it was no longer inhabited.
- Listed along with Capernaum and Behtsaida as one of the cities in which most of Jesus’ miracles were done.
- The ruins indicate that it was a fairly important city. Remains of a synagogue, probably from the 4th century A.D., include a carved seat with an inscription, an example of a “Moses’ seat” (Mt 23:2)
21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 “Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
23 “And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.
24 “Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment, than for you.”
This is the first time we find Jesus uttering words of condemnation against entire cities. Jesus uses the common Old Testament form of “woe” here – an exclamation of how greatly one will suffer,” mingling doom with pity.
Jesus and the disciples had done many miracles and some of their most significant work in these cities, yet the cities rejected them. Capernaum had been especially blessed as it was the “headquarters” for the early part of Jesus’ ministry. In contrast Jesus said, the three terribly wicked gentile cities of “Tyre, Sidon and Sodom would have repented if they had seen these miracles.” Their judgment was terrible but not as bad as that of the three Galileen cities. In spite of their “greater light” they rejected the Messiah and are in ruins today.
There will be degrees of judgment depending on the amount of light a person had. Those who receive the greatest light have a greater responsibility. It is a very serious matter to have the truth and reject it.
- Perhaps you attend a church that teaches the word, attend Precept Bible study or other Bible studies, listen to great preachers and teachers what are you doing with the light you have been given? Are you living it out? Are you sharing it with others?
- How much responsibility will you be accountable for?