Horrors not Honours- Friday, 26th week in ordinary time – Lk 10:13-16

The Gospel passage of today stands smack in between the sending out of the seventy into mission and the return of the seventy from mission.  It almost seems like an interlude of sorts to create the impression that a certain time has lapsed between the two events.

The passage in Luke is also found in the Gospel of Matthew (11:20-24) and draws attention to three predominantly Jewish cities in Galilee. The first two of the three Jewish cities mentioned are Chorazin and Bethsaida; towns situated near the Sea of Galilee and which today lie in ruin. However a good portion of the synagogue of Chorazin is still standing. The third Jewish city of Capernaum which is mentioned by Jesus in the text is the place that Jesus made his own headquarters for ministry. The cities of Tyre and Sidon were Gentile cities in Phoenicia which were doomed by the prophets, Isaiah and Ezekiel. The Galilean cities and the Gentile cities had a long standing feud and the very mention of the two in the same breath was enough to start a riot.  

Ironically, Jesus pronounces a woe against the Galilean cities, followed by an explanation for the word of doom and then a comparison is made with a Gentile city. So what has got Jesus so riled up? The seventy who were sent out in mission were warned that there would be towns (9:10) that would not welcome them. In the face of such hostility, the disciples were to shake the dust off their sandals ‘as a sign of protest against the town’ (9:11). Jesus knew that his disciples would face rejection; He knew that the message of the kingdom would be mocked at and He knew this because of His own experience.

The synagogue at Chorazin
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