Today the world is in chaos. Today, evil keeps increasing. We can see that many people are losing their faith. It is now looking as if sinful lives and unfaithfulness are taking the upper hand. The things of God are being neglected and downplayed. Despite God’s mercy and love, yet man has repaid God with the hardness of heart.
When we harden our hearts towards God, it shows that we are telling God that His words are not relevant to us.
Many people will always come out to tell you that they love God but neglect His words.
When we become the first to be in front of the church pews yet harden our hearts to God’s word, then we are playing God. That is the concern of Jesus today.
The Condemnation by Jesus.
- Today, Jesus publicly denounces and condemns all the places He worked for the hardening of their hearts.
We know Jesus as someone who always heals and saves. He always has mercy and grants forgiveness to whoever asks for it. Today, what we hear from Him is “woe”. An indication that this must have hurt Him so much.
Jesus publicly condemns them for hardening their hearts. An indication that we can invite condemnation when we also turn our hearts away from God and refuse to repent.
- “Woe” in Greek is obviously a word that means pain. It means ” ouvai. ” This is the sound that someone makes when evil happens or when they are hurt deeply.
It shows that the hardening of the heart is evil and a way we hurt the merciful heart of Jesus. Therefore, when we harden our hearts, we offend and hurt Jesus Christ. It is like someone who loves you and comes to you to help and advise you, but you turn your back on Him. This attitude can hurt.
- “Woe to you” could mean “shame to you”. So when Jesus says “alas for you”, Chorazin, Bethsaida, He is saying, “shame, grief, sorrow, misery, terrible calamity is awaiting you Chorazin, Bethsaida”.
When the Israelites hardened their hearts at Meribah, even after seeing His mighty works, God was angry with them for forty years and declared that none of the people enters the promised land.
In Psalm 95:8-11, God says; Do not harden your hearts, as you did at Meribah, as you did on that day at Massah in the desert when your fathers tested me, they tried me, though they saw my work. For forty years. I was angry with that generation; I said they are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways. So I declared an oath in my anger that they shall never enter my rest”.
Therefore, when we harden our hearts to God, we also invite condemnation upon ourselves. When we keep to our sinful manners, we may invite His anger and wrath.
The question for us then is; How many times do we hear and harden our hearts?
How many times do we neglect God to continue in our sinful manners?
Why do we always decide to turn our hearts away from God? Despite the many things He has done for us, why do we harden our hearts?
When we harden our hearts is a decision not to make God happy. Let us repent today and go for confession.
The Reason For the Condemnation.
This condemnation today is because Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum were the places, Jesus performed most of His miracles.
It is an indication that when God is doing a mighty thing around us. He expects us to see what He does for us as a sign that God is real and true to His word. And as such will draw us more to Him than away from Him.
Hence, when we harden our hearts to Him, it hurts. Only the life that we have every day is enough for daily thanksgiving. Yet, we do as if living is by our power and strength.
- Jesus says that at the end, God will show no mercy to Capernaum if she refuses to repent.
Most of the miracles Jesus performs is in Capernaum. It is a pointer that total neglect of God and refusal to repent, despite His mercy and love, are the routes to eternal damnation.
We have to know that truly, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus ( Romans 8:1). Jesus is not proclaiming the final judgment on us yet. We still have the chance to turn back to Him. We have the time now to repent.
Condemnation comes when we harden our hearts and think there is more time to repent.The time to change and turn to God is now.
May God have mercy on us and give us the grace to continually come close to Him. Amen