Commission or Omission? – Tuesday, 15th week in ordinary time – Mt 11:20-24
The mission discourse is now behind us and the next two chapters before the next discourse, the ‘parable discourse’, comprise of a series of incidences where Jesus is rejected. All through chapters eleven and twelve, we will constantly encounter the rejection of Jesus by His generation.
A reading of verses 16-19 gives us a clear understanding of the rejection Jesus faced. Nothing He does seems to make the people happy. They won’t dance when the flute is played, they won’t mourn when the dirge is sung. For that matter, the life of John the Baptist was too austere for them and the life of Jesus was too debaucherous. It seemed like they wanted an omelette but did not want to break eggs.
So, early into the ‘rejection passages’, Jesus decides to set the record straight and He intends to do it first with His own. His condemnation is not without justification. It is within the walls of these three contemporary cities, situated on the northwest shore of Galilee, that He worked some amazing miracles.
Not only did He work great miracles here but verse twenty tells us that He had worked ‘most of His deeds of power here’. These are cities that Jesus and His disciples were familiar with. Capernaum was Jesus’ ministerial base. Peter came from Capernaum and Jesus worked as many as seven great miracles here. Bethsaida was the home of Andrew and Philip, to say nothing of the great miracle where Jesus had fed thousands. Yet belief is hard to come by and so condemnation from Jesus is swift and harsh.
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