By Allen White
Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. “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. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
We rally around sayings like “Knowledge is power.” We want to be empowered. We want to be knowledgeable. Getting the upper hand is part of winning the game. Who wouldn’t want a leg up on the competition? (Have I used all of the clichés yet?)
But, with knowledge comes responsibility. For most believers, we fall into a category called “educated beyond the level of our obedience.” Ouch, but true.
It’s not a matter of doing right things in order for God to love us. God loves us. That’s settled. It’s a matter of surrendering ourselves to God’s ways. God wants us to do things His way because He knows it’s better for us.
In America, we, the church, have become complacent. We take our faith for granted. We consider religious freedom as our right. We have access to the message of the Gospel through every medium possible -- radio, TV, internet, print, ebooks, tweets, Facebook, recordings, podcasts – you name it. We’ve got it. Unfortunately, for many of us, the old, old story is, well, getting old.
Just yesterday, as I heard a very clear message of the Gospel presented, people came to Christ. As Water of Life drills wells among the untouchables in India, people are hearing Jesus’ name for the very first time and accepting Him as their Lord and Savior.
Much like us, the people living in the towns of Chorazin, Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26), and Capernaum (Matthew 8:5-13) had Jesus coming out of their ears. They witnessed Jesus’ miracles, then they went back to business. It was interesting, but it wasn’t life-changing for them.
Jesus knew if the people of Tyre and Sidon, or even Sodom had witnessed these miracles, their stories would have turned out very different. Yet, the villages where Jesus performed miracles just took it in stride.
Where are you witnessing the miraculous in your life? How has God answered your prayers? Who has come to Christ recently? Who’s been healed? How have we encountered the power of God’s Word? How have we allowed these things to change our lives?
Howard Hendricks said years ago, “The Bible wasn’t given for our information, but for our transformation.” God is not interested in occupying a compartment of our lives reserved for Sunday. God wants His Word to permeate our lives. Jesus wants to live His life through us.
It’s not a matter of trying harder. Maybe it’s a matter of putting up less resistance to what God has for you.
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