TEXT: Matthew 11:20-24
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 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.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 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.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Iain Duguid said, “The Lord waits so long in His graciousness that people think He cannot judge, but when He does come in judgment, it is so decisive that it seems as if He cannot show mercy. For this is not the sudden anger of an irritable temper, easily inflamed but equally easily pacified. This is deliberate, measure wrath, following a full investigation of the facts. There can be no last-minute appeals or reprieves, for there is no higher court to whom appeal can be made, and no pertinent facts have been overlooked in reaching the verdict. So it was with Sodom and Gomorrah, and so it shall be at the end of history.”
In 2001, at the Daytona 500, racing legend Dale Earhardt on the final lap of the race, crashed into the wall at a speed of around 180 miles per hour after being tapped from behind. The autopsy report stated that he died of blunt force trauma to the head. It has been suggested that he may have survived the crash if he had been wearing a special safety device called a HANS or Head and Neck Safety Device. At the time however, he had decided against using the device complaining that it restricted his movements too much. His neglect probably cost him his life. The Bible reveals that each individual is on a collision course with God’s judgment. He has provided a safety device in the cross of Jesus Christ, that will keep us from suffering eternal death and separation from God. But like Dale Earnhardt, we each must chose to accept and not neglect what God has offered.
In our last message we saw how Jesus denounces those who do not repent. Now we see how Jesus mourns for those who do not repent.
Jesus says in verse 21: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida!”
Chorazin and Bethsaida were two Galilean towns that were close to Capernaum, which is where Jesus set up his ministry headquarters. Bethsaida was the hometown of three of Jesus’ disciples: Peter, Andrew. and Philip. Jesus restored a blind man’s sight at a place just outside the ancient village of Bethsaida. The miraculous feeding of the five thousand also happened near Bethsaida.
Korazin is only mentioned in the Bible here and in the parallel passage in Luke, but it is also mentioned in the Talmud. Archaeologists have suggested two possible locations for this city, while theologian John Lightfoot has suggested that Chorazin was an area near Cana of Galilee.
The Bible does not mention Jesus visiting Chorazin anywhere else, but we are also told that this was one of the cities whereJesus performed most of his miracles. It only goes to show how much the gospels leave out of Jesus’ three-year ministry. As John says at the end of his gospel, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)
So here are two of the towns where Jesus performed most of his miracles, and Jesus pronounces a “woe” upon both of them. The word is not only a verdict of doom, but it is also a cry of mourning. Jack Wellman said, “The word “woe” is often used to express grief, regret, misfortune or grievous distress stated from such a great affliction of some sort or being in such trouble that an escape out of it seems impossible. Sometimes, a woe is almost beyond description and words fail us so a “woe” may be the only thing we can say to express our feelings, very much like when we groan. The biblical definition is even more “woeful.” The word “woe” in the Greek is “ouai” and is more than just an expression of a feeling. Woe is a judgment as we read in the Book of Revelation. It means “alas” or almost like “oh no!” When the word woe is used, it is quite possibly signifying impending doom, condemnation and/or the wrath of God. Jesus used the word woe more than anyone else in the Bible.”
As one preacher put it, there is a wail in the woe. So not only does Jesus condemn and pronounce judgment upon those who do not repent, but he also mourns for them because of the judgment that is coming.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.