Lessons From Tyre and Sidon


What does God desire for us in his relationship with humanity? For us to be humble in faith as his people. After everything God has done in Jesus, after all we have seen and heard, and the miracles we have seen, will we repent from our ways to go God’s way?

1 A prophecy against Tyre:

Wail, you ships of Tarshish!
For Tyre is destroyed
and left without house or harbor.
From the land of Cyprus
word has come to them.

9 The Lord Almighty planned it,
to bring down her pride in all her splendor
and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.
Isaiah 23:1, 9

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! 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 in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
Matthew 11:20-22

What does God desire for us in his dealings and relationship with humanity? For us to be humble before him as his people. The prideful and those who have renown across the land, who disregard the Lord will be brought down like Tyre and Sidon.

If you read on you will see that they would be forgotten after being the centre of trade for the region. Yet, they wouldn’t listen to the Lord or follow his ways.

We see the same thing happening in Matthew 11, as Jesus made his way around the towns of Israel. Jesus performed miracles in each town and he passed judgement on those who wouldn’t repent. If Jesus’ miracles, performed in Chorazin or Bethsaida, were performed in Tyre and Sidon, Jesus said, they would have repented.

It would be worse for these cities on the day of judgement than it was for Tyre and Sidon. Why? Because Jesus himself, the Son of God, performed his miracles there.

Western civilization has enjoyed the abundance of enlightenment and revelation of God since the time of Jesus. There is now more access to the Scriptures, more opportunity for awareness among people, than ever before. Christianity is also in decline in western civilization. The number of people who reject the Christian faith and even all faiths is on the rise.

And so I wonder if Jesus would speak to us as he spoke to Bethsaida. I wonder if Tyre and Sidon have a better chance than we do on that day of judgement. We have to be willing.

Our willingness to let Jesus gather us to himself, as a mother hen gathers her chicks (Matthew 23:37), is essential to our relationship with God. After everything God has done in Jesus, after everything we have seen and heard, after the miracles performed in our midst, are we willing to repent from our ways to go God’s way?

Tyre and Sidon were not. Bethsaida and Chorazin were not. Will you?

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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