Feb 28 2021

I don’t envy the town leaders of Capernaum. I get to read the story of Jesus after twenty centuries of clarification. They had to live it in the confusion of real-time.

That said, Jesus doesn’t mince words about their fate. He pronounces “woe” on the three towns where he made his home base — Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida (Luke 10:13-15).

Let’s assume for just a second that the language is kind of like a radioactive sign. It’s a warning rather than retaliation.

Jesus had experienced plenty of social ambivalence during his teaching and healing tours. In fact, he had been asked to leave some places. People come and go around Jesus without “woe.”

But I take it that in these three cities there was some sort of official rejection since they had the most to lose if Jesus was condemned as a false prophet (which he ultimately was). And it’s that official rejection that Jesus warns against for the general population.

After Jesus left Galilee the summer of his last year, his world grew smaller and smaller until his final, fateful feast-visit to Jerusalem.

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