Scripture: Luke 10:13-16 (alternate reading: Matthew 18:1-5,10)
13 "Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. 16 "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
Meditation: If Jesus were to visit your community today,
what would he say? Would he issue a warning like the one he gave
to Chorazin and Bethsaida? And how would you respond? Wherever
Jesus went he did mighty works to show the people how much God had
for them. Chorazin and Bethsaida had been blessed with the
visitation of God. They heard the good news and experienced the
wonderful works which Jesus did for them. Why was Jesus upset with
these communities? The word woe is also translated as alas.
It is as much as an expression of sorrowful pity as it is of
Jesus calls us to walk in the way of truth and freedom
- justice and holiness
Why does Jesus lament and issue a stern warning? The people who heard the gospel here very likely responded with indifference. Jesus upbraids them for doing nothing! Repentance demands change - a change of heart and way of life. God's word is life-giving and it saves us from destruction - the destruction of soul as well as body. Jesus' anger is directed toward sin and everything which hinders us from doing the will of God and receiving his blessing. In love he calls us to walk in his way of truth and freedom, grace and mercy, justice and holiness. Do you receive his word with faith and submission or with doubt and indifference?
"Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission."
1 O God, the heathen have come into your inheritance; they have
defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of your saints to the beasts of the earth.
3 They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them.
4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those round about us.
5 How long, O LORD? Will you be angry for ever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
8 Do not remember against us the iniquities of our forefathers; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name's sake!
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Christ speaks through the disciples, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"Christ gives those who love instruction the assurance that
whatever is said concerning him by the holy apostles or
evangelists is to be received necessarily without any doubt and to
be crowned with the words of truth. He who hears them, hears
Christ. For the blessed Paul also said, 'You desire proof that
Christ is speaking in me' (2 Corinthians 13:3). Christ himself
somewhere also said to the holy disciples, 'For it is not you that
speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you' (Matthew
10:20). Christ speaks in them by the consubstantial Spirit. If it
is true, and plainly it is, that they speak by Christ, how can
they err? He affirms that he who does not hear them, does not hear
Christ, and that he who rejects them rejects Christ, and with him
the Father." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE,
Scripture quotations from Common Bible:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright
1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the
Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the United
States of America. Used by permission. All rights
reserved. Citation references for quotes from
the writings of the early church fathers can be
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