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Lesson # Matt. 11:20-22
Study Material - Matt. 11:20-22
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20 Then [tote] began he [archomai] to upbraid [oneidizo] the cities [polis] wherein [en] [hos] most [pleistos] of his [autos] mighty works [dunamis] were done [ginomai] , because [hoti] they repented [metanoeo] not [ou] :
21 Woe [ouai] unto thee [soi] , Chorazin [Chorazin] ! woe [ouai] unto thee [soi] , Bethsaida [Bethsaida] ! for [hoti] if [ei] the mighty works [dunamis] , which [ho] were done [ginomai] in [en] you [humin] , had been done [ginomai] in [en] Tyre [Turos] and [kai] Sidon [Sidon] , they would have repented [metanoeo] long ago [an] [palai] in [en] sackcloth [sakkos] and [kai] ashes [spodos] .
22 But [plen] I say [lego] unto you [humin] , It shall be [esomai] more tolerable [anektoteros] for Tyre [Turos] and [kai] Sidon [Sidon] at [en] the day [hemera] of judgment [krisis] , than [e] for you [humin] . KJV-Interlinear
20 Then He began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 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 shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you. NAS
Two Jewish towns, Chorazin and Bethsaida, are compared to two gentile pagan cities of long ago. The mode of daily life continued on in the Jewish cities, even as Jesus visited them and performed miracles that were so spectacular, that they would draw attention even in our current day of modern technology, were they to have been performed here in our time.
And were they to have been performed in the days of Sidon and Tyre, many more people would have been drawn to Christ, and would have repented their ways, than have done in the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida.
Every citizen from these two Jewish cities saw or heard of the miracles of Christ, yet they did not change their minds nor their daily living habits. It was business as usual in those cities. The people were indifferent. They saw the miracles. They were impressed, just as we are impressed when we attend some circus or show, but then we all go home and we resume our normal lives. Nothing changes in our life just because we happened to see something spectacular at the show.
We talk about the spectacular event, but that is just chit-chat, or small talk in informal conversations. Not much deep thinking occurs in small talk.
In the day of Noah, and in the day of Lot, there was great indifference. People went about their business. They were eating and drinking, they were buying and selling, they were planting, they were building. People did what they always do on a daily basis. Business as usual. There was great immorality too, just as in the Jewish cities there was great self righteousness. Yet Jesus states that these cities of old will fare better in the last judgment than the Jewish cities. Does this imply that there are degrees of punishment in hell? No. Two issues are in view. The first issue is indifference, but there are two kinds of indifference. On the one hand we have immoral people drunken and committing homosexual acts as they did in Sodom. Degenerate to be sure, but they would have responded to the miracles of Christ far more than did those of the two Jewish cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida. These latter two cities were guilty of indifference but not from social degeneracy, but from legalistic degeneracy. They were self righteous.
If is far easier to respond to the gospel and doctrine when ones life is wrapped up in social immoralities. An immoral person has fewer hurdles to get over, since they don't tend to be so rigid when they face life's problems. They are more easy going and uncaring.
The self righteous person sets up impenetrable barriers. They are far more rigid and defiant in life. They resist truth and they go to great extremes to prove themselves right even when they are totally wrong. Thus changing their minds to accept a God of truth rather than a god of their own design is virtually impossible. The degenerate will just go with the flow. They don't care about what others think.
The results of indifference, no matter what kind it may be, is quite the same however. The lake of fire will consume the self righteous just as easily as it will consume the lascivious person. Overt sin and mental sin are equally evil and equally punishable.
What happened in the past with these two cities? Was God unfair in not bringing miracles to them so that they could believe? No. The scriptures were available to them just as doctrine is available to the Jews. Many believed in those ancient gentile cities, but so too they were equally degenerate. Just because one is a believer does not mean that degeneracy is an impossibility. Believers can commit sins, crimes, degenerate acts along with the best of unbelievers. The issue for a believer who is sinful is discipline from God, not judgment. The issue with self righteous unbelievers is judgment. They are rigid in their unbelief and therefore prevent themselves from salvation and heaven. And that is the sad thing in life.
The citizens of Sidon and Tyre would have responded and many most probably did, but they would have continued in their evil degenerate ways, thus they were destroyed in Gods discipline. The citizens of Chorazin and Bethsaida had a greater opportunity to see God in the flesh and to see the miracles He performed and they were rigid and defiant in their unbelief. The miracles did not even take them from their normal day to day routines.
Sitting on the fence in life is not an option. God demands a choice, a decision. The only positive decision is to believe in Christ first (this decision is only required once in your life time) and then the making of positive daily decisions or moment by moment decisions with respect to Bible doctrine throughout your life. Anything else is unacceptable.
Indifference is unacceptable. Indifference is the same as being negative or rejecting God. Indifference is not a proactive attitude. Indifference does not advance you in life. Indifference is another pit that will bring misery and doom just as easily as active rejection of God will bring misery and doom.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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