Dear Student of the Word,
It's time once again for an installment from an edited version of a devotional study of Luke's gospel. In this week's study, we look at Jesus' teaching to His disciples, which covered various topics. This study is divided into seven parts, and here is part six, with the entire study available to download below:
Study Sixteen, Part Six
13 "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. 16 "He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
10:13&14 – Obviously, Jesus was performing miracles so that people would know and see that the kingdom of God was near. It wasn’t a Kingdom as they were expecting, which was the literal restoration of the throne of David. It was a spiritual, internal Kingdom that would touch every area of life—body, soul, and spirit.
It is also obvious that the miracles came to lead people to repentance, which means making a 180 degree turn around in one’s life. Repentance is not a one-time event; it is a way of life. If you encounter a habit, behavior or attitude that is not in line with God’s kingdom rules, then you must repent, turn around, and begin walking in a new direction.
10:15 – Capernaum was Jesus’ adopted hometown. I would imagine that the residents were rather proud of their adopted Son’s ministry. But if the residents thought that Jesus’ residence gave them special privileges, they needed to think again. The fact that they saw Jesus’ public ministry more than others made them more responsible to repent and turn to God. If they refused, then it would be worse for them in the final judgment because Jesus had lived there.
There are some who want God as a good luck charm so that good things will happen. God isn’t interested in being a tool to carry out someone’s selfishness. God expects repentance and anything less is unacceptable. He expects Kingdom residents and not Kingdom tourists who visit His word and will every now and then. Are you a Kingdom resident or a Kingdom tourist?
10:16 – This verse summarizes the ones above for the disciples that Jesus was sending out. “If people don’t accept you and your message, they are really rejecting me,” is what Jesus was really saying. The Lord spoke this same thing to Samuel when the people requested a king to rule over them:
But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king" (1 Samuel 8:6-7).
Don’t take any ministry rejection personally. It’s not about you; it’s about King Jesus and His kingdom. And ultimately, the person rejecting you has rejected the Father’s overtures for that person to become properly related to God. So keep sowing, keep working and keep your eyes on Jesus. Go where you’re celebrated and distribute the peace of God to whomever will receive it.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled A Daily Taste of Proverbs. Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy this study of Luke's gospel from God's word.