There was a small town that prided itself on its self-sustainability. They had land to grow their own food, a river that ran through to give them water, willed craftsmen and women that boasted about the products they could make.
But, they were dying.
Their crops were not growing. The fields were bare. The river was full of filth because of the town’s drainage into the river. Their clothes were tattered and worn, and their shoes were barely hanging on their feet. Most of the self-proclaimed master craftsmen no longer built or made things because those tasks were now too unimportant to them.
A man came into the town and saw the poor condition it and it’s people were in.
He knew he had what it would take to turn this town and it’s people around. He offered his help. He could bring in produce from neighboring towns. He had a good source for water, up-stream, and could build a system to get it to their homes. He had quality materials for making clothes and shoes and even had sturdy products made by neighboring towns he could provide.
All their needs would be met. No longer would they hunger or thirst. They would be saved from the future that awaited them.
Still boasting in their own abilities, they stood in their worn clothes, hanging on their bodies that looked like just skin and bones, they angrily rejected the man and his help.
Who was he to tell them they needed something? They didn’t need him or anyone else. They would make it just fine. They would just work harder.
The man walked away sad as he knew how it would end for these people. They were choosing death over life. They were too prideful for his help.
But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”Luke 10:10-16
Jesus was sending out His disciples in pairs to go and share the good news that the Messiah had come. He had specific instructions on what they could take with them, where to stay and eat. In this portion of scripture, Jesus shares the harsh reality that not everyone will receive their visit and message with joy.
There would be cities that rejected them. And they would be judged. Just like Sodom was.
This is a city. A place. With buildings, shops, roads and homes. But things like that aren’t what will be judged.
It’s the people.
People reject the good news of Jesus. They think they can save themselves if they just work harder. They don’t want His help. They don’t want anything He has to offer them.
And sadly, their future is worse than what they experience here on this earth.
It hurts my heart to know there are people who will not accept what Christ offers them. In their pride, they reject Him. And their future will be worse than they could ever imagine.
But we have the opportunity to cry out to our God and confess our sins, seeking His help to repent of those sins and follow Him.
As we look at the story at the beginning, we think, those people are so foolish! But, what have we done with the help Jesus offers us?
He wants to change us to be a better reflection of Him. But are we willing?
He wants us to see that He’s done all the work when He went to the cross, but are we ready to rest in Him?
He wants us to see that His grace is all we need, but do we continue to search this world for fulfillment?
Do you hear His voice today? Do you feel His urging for you to respond? Humble yourself before the Lord, confess your sins and ask for His help to a better way of life.