By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 14, 2015
July 14, 2015

Gospel MT 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns
where most of his mighty deeds had been done,
since they had not repented.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Reflection:

“Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.”

Interestingly, this passage shows how little we know of the many miracles performed by Jesus. There is not one mention in the New Testament of any of the “mighty” miracles Jesus performed in these cities.

However, we’re told that Jesus “returned” to the towns where he performed these “mighty deeds” and said, “Woe to you.”

Webster tells us that the word “woe” means “sadness, unhappiness, heartbreak.”

Jesus acknowledged the great sadness, unhappiness and heartbreak that would come upon the people of these cities because, after seeing his “mighty” miracles, they did not “repent”

To “repent” means to feel sorrow for our sin to the point that we change our ways and live in accordance with the ways of God.

The people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum witnessed the miracles of Jesus and did not repent.

In doing so, they brought about their own “sadness, unhappiness and heartbreak.”

Yet, they are God’s children, and like us, they could only hope and trust in the ultimate mercy of our loving Father.

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” —Abraham Lincoln



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