devotion 1-31-15

Good Morning!Health Fair at the church (Big Pine UMC) this morning! Come over!

Luke 10.13-24

13“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. 16“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 21At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 23Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

The “woe to you” passages are a continuation of Jesus’ statement about those who reject his disciples, those sent out in his name. He is saying that those who reject the ones he sends out are rejecting him. He speaks of the three towns where he has spent the most of his time, preaching and teaching – Chorazim, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, where he made his home. Even those that had been his base, should they reject his disciples, will be judged for their rejection on the day of the judgment. We saw the ruins of these cities in Israel, Chorazim was destroyed by a great earthquake in the third of fourth century, and never rebuilt; there are considerable ruins there, including a synagogue. (photos attached)

The seventy go out, as Jesus instructed, and they return, with joy, telling Jesus all that had been done in his name! And he rejoices, saying that their work defeats satan, and all the power of evil. Yet, he reminds them not to rejoice at what they have done, but instead to rejoice at the coming of the kingdom. And Jesus goes on to praise God that these miracles of the kingdom have been revealed to those he sent out, not the wise or rich or scholars, but to the disciples he called and sent. And turning to the disciples, he tells them that they are blessed, for many will desire to see what they see, but will not; and many in the past desired to hear what they heard, but did not. We would count among those who desire to see the kingdom, as Jesus initiated it, to walk with Jesus, and serve him, in Galilee! I would love to have been there! But, I wonder, would we reject Jesus and his disciples? Would we be found in woe, like Chorazim, Bethsaida, and Capernaum? Would we say Jesus’ love is too radical? Would we correct him, saying he should not be eating with those sinners? Would we turn him away?

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