Almost 4,000 years after the fall of Adam and Eve and still no appearance of the prophesied Savior. But then it happened. In a little town south of Jerusalem.
Jesus, anointed by Almighty God, chooses Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin specifically to introduce His heavenly kingdom to mankind. These were the cities where God’s declaration of kingdom miracles were exemplified as something never seen before.
It was a huge revival of eternal life to the thousands who came with every ailment and problem that can be imagined. Wagon loads filled with the sick came from far away to join in the meetings on the hillsides, hoping to be delivered and made whole. They were hoping to walk, see, and hear. For some, it was the first time to be healthy.
Some brought devils with them hoping to get rid of them. They were all healed and touched by a King! God’s only begotten son Jesus was this King and He was the introduction of a new covenant between God and man. This covenant is in full existence to this very hour and the results remain unchanged. Hallelujah! Can you see them leaping and jumping as they go back to their families and communities to show and tell the news?
I can see the crammed horse drawn wagons coming from afar with clouds of dust rising behind them galloping toward the Savior. These wagons came filled with the infirmed and now they are leaving empty because their passengers were touched by Jesus. These three cities witnessed the greatest move of God that ever was.
And all of a sudden at the end of three years Jesus says this:
Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: V.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. V.22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. V.23 And thou, Capernaum (the city where Jesus and His disciples lived), 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. V.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.
Something went horribly wrong in these cities of revival. They saw the light, they knew the light, but something went terribly wrong. Did they become discouraged? Was it persecution? Were there divisions among them? Did they find faults among the saints? Probably all of the above.
Jesus said they had a repentance problem. Can people sit in the presence of the work of Jesus and harden their hearts? Yes, it happens all the time. The moving of God’s power became the norm.
The disciples were working with Jesus and even helped give out bread to the thousands and the next moment Jesus asked them,”are your hearts still hardened”? He then reveals the condition of a hardened heart.
Mark 8:17 And when Jesus knew it, He saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? V.18 Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? And do ye not remember?
Here is the sequence of internal events of a hardened heart. Why reason ye: They stopped perceiving. They lost understanding. Their hearts were still hard. They had eyes but stopped seeing. Their ears stopped hearing Their memory was removed from what they saw, heard and at one time understood.
Jesus was explaining the repentance problem.
How can someone be next to Jesus and see all the works of God in miraculous fashion and lose it so quickly? When man follows after offenses he loses repentance. When man gets used to the work of God he loses repentance.
It all starts down the path of destruction when man fails to love the voice of conviction from the presence of the Holy Spirit. Oh, Chorazin! Why are all your walls torn down? Even today, I ask, why does no one desire to live there anymore? All that is there are piles of extremely hard basalt rock. It’s the picture of a heart that turns away from the presence of the Holy Spirit even in the midst of His sovereign working. Even Jesus left the place and the Holy Spirit had no more desire to live there any more. Jesus cursed the place where He did the greatest miracles.
Today, I echo, Oh, Chorazin. Oh, Chorazin!