Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.( Matthew 11:20-22)
Jesus at this point in the gospel, was already being rejected in the very towns and villages where he had done his mighty works. Doors were shutting to him in Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida, for the people had heard his message, seen his miracles and refused to repent. There remains nothing for them but a terrible and everlasting judgment.
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.(Matthew 11:23)
Jesus singles out Capernaum, the village which Jesus operated out of, (Peter’s home). Jesus quotes a portion of Isaiah 14, applying it to them. His words should be punctuated thus,
Will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to hell!!
Isaiah’s oracle says to Lucifer
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.(Isaiah 14:12-15)
This is a paraphrase taken from the Oracle of Isaiah against Lucifer! How is Capernaum like unto Lucifer? The Arch Angel saw the very throne of God, and still hated and despised God. Capernaum saw the miracles of the Son of God himself, but would not repent when given an opportunity!
Therefore Jesus applied the Word of the Lord against Lucifer to the city which saw the most of his ministry.(I wonder what that says about the USA?)?
But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.(Matthew 11:24)
We learn something about Divine judgment here,
* There must be degrees of punishment
* Everything will be taken into account, ie opportunities to repent etc.
* God knew that Sodom and Gommorah would have repented had they seen Jesus…
* Judgment will be according to light.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.(Matthew 11:25)
In the midst if this dismal discussion of human culpability, opportunities lost, judgment and refusal to repent, Jesus Praised God! He blessed his Father, as being Sovereign and for actually “hiding these things” , the things of salvation from the wise of this age,(the self-sufficient, the worldly-wise, the Capernaums who couldn’t be moved to repent even by the words and works of Jesus!( Evidently they knew better than Jesus..).
Jesus also praised God, for revealing “these things” to the babes, the ones who know nothing, and know they know nothing, the ones without such self-awareness, and pride, the ones who recognize their need and see in Jesus the answer.
Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.(Matthew 11:26)
Why did God do it this way? Why does a Sovereign do anything, any way? There can only be one answer, It pleased Him to hide the things of salvation from the so-called wise and self sufficient, and to reveal them to the simple and childlike. Hallelujah!
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.(Matthew 11:27)
Salvation definitely belongs to God, He alone is the determining factor in every man’s salvation. The only reason any of us “know Jesus” or “Know the Father” is because it pleased the Son to reveal him to us.
The Father and the Son of God have a profound, eternal, unique and exclusive relationship. No one could possibly “know the Son” exhaustively, other than the Father and there is no one who truly knows the Father, other than the Son of God. God is a trinity, and cannot be known other than as and through the trinity of persons that He is.
But Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, that h may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent…”(John 17:3) God has given us eternal Life and that Life is in His Son!
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.(Matthew 28-29)
We need to come to God, the Father, through Jesus, and cast our cares about this election, and this world which is admittedly under judgment, as was Capernaum, Chorazin and Bethsaida, , upon Him who cares for us. Our task is to learn of Him, to believe in Him. We need to continue to yoke with Jesus, the incarnate God who descended to us, and find our Sabbath rest in Him.
THANKS VETERANS!!! GOOD SUNDAY EVERYONE!