Monday, July 12, 2010
PRIVILEGE DEMANDS RESPONSIBILITY – JULY 13TH TUESDAY (Mt 11:20-24)
1. Since Chorazin and Bethsaida had rejected Jesus, they would suffer greater punishment that the so called wicked cities who had not seen Jesus. These people had less opportunity to believe and therefore they would be accountable for less. Similarly nations with Churches on every corner and Bible in every home will not have excuse on judgment day if they do not repent.
2. A short note on the cities mentioned
• Chorazin: This town in upper Galilee is located two miles north of Capernaum. Recent excavations have revealed that a medium sized town with a public building and synagogue existed around Jesus time.
• Bethsaida : literally means house of the fisherman. It is located at the north eastern corner of the sea of Galilee where Jordan flows in. Herod Philip raised it to the dignity of a city.
• Tyre and Sidon: Both were on Mediterranean coast in southern Lebanon. These two were mentioned in several prophetic literature (Is 23: 1-12, Jer 25:22, Ezek 28: 11-23) in context of destruction.
• Capernaum: It is located on the North West shore of Sea of Galilee. It is the geographical centre of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee and identical as his city.
• Sodom: It is one of the five cities of the valley located at the southern end of Dead Sea. – Emerges as a negative example of inhospitality and sexual perversity.
3. The severity of judgment is determined by the extent of privilege. One is accountable for no more and no less than which has come within the range of his opportunity and competence.
4. The most serious fact about sin is that it is alike a disease, it carries within itself the seeds of self-destruction. Sin carries ruin within itself.
5. Jesus did many miracles in Chorazin and Bethsaida yet there are no records of the miracles or works. We must always remember that what we have in the New Testament is only a small number of the miracles and works that Christ did.
Jesus words keep disturbing us. It should disturb us all the more because as Christians we are given a lot or privileges. Rights and responsibility are the two sides of the coins. Most of the times, we fight for our rights forgetting the aspect of responsibility. As members of the Church we are given a lot of privileges like meeting the Lord in the Eucharist, reading God’s words in the Bible, listening to the promptings of the spirit through the Church documents etc. These privileges call for greater responsibility. We are called to live a life of holiness by saying no to sins and inclinations of evil. Failing to realize these duties will surely make us culpable before God.
The Broadman Bible Commentary
Sacra Pagina Series
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible
Hermeneia – A critical and historical Commentary on the Bible
Life Application Bible Commentary