Courses

The Historical Jesus: Lecture Eight


"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. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.

Those towns which reject the missionary efforts of Jesus' emissaries will be called on the carpet on the day of judgment; which Jesus envisioned to be very close at hand.

"Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." At 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. All 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." Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For 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."

Those citizens of Israel who accept the work of those missionaries will, in contrast to those who reject them, find themselves to be blessed beyond measure. And those disciples who carry the message are likewise extremely fortunate for they are themselves experiencing the messianic age. For that reason alone they are better off than all the kings and prophets who preceded them.

Jesus here indicates that, once more, it is the poor and destitute who are indeed the most fortunate of individuals- for it is they who have the honor of being participants in the age of the Messiah.