If Only People Would………..
Read Luke Chapter 10
Lk 10:13 “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.
I know, we examine the idea of repentance often. I find it difficult to read far in God’s word without finding the word “repent” or a derivative of it. So today, we are going to look at it again. In this particular verse, Jesus is speaking. He personally said that if He had performed the same miracles in Tyre and Sidon as He did in Korazin, the people of those cities would have repented. For a change, let’s think about what Jesus did not say.
He did not say, “If I had performed these miracles in Tyre and Sidon, they would have believed in Me.” He did not say, “If I had performed these miracles in Tyre and Sidon, they would have followed Me and became My disciple.” I really don’t know how to explain how Jesus selected His wording as He spoke to the people of Korazin. All I can do is put forth some ideas for us to think about.
- Repentance must be a valuable commodity in the eyes of Jesus. This one is a given. Obviously, Jesus thought it important enough that He selected those words over and above the ideas of believing in Him as Savior, and becoming one of His disciples.
- Is repentance one of the necessary steps we take toward salvation? One could certainly make the case for that idea, based not only on this verse, but many others as well.
- Repentance is serious enough so that our discovery of our own sinfulness should cause us sadness and shame. Otherwise, why would anyone sit in sackcloth and ashes? Those were symbolic of the shame and disgrace that comes with sinning against a Holy God.
- Does repentance automatically bring us to God and belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior? Maybe it does. Or, perhaps that is just one step in the right direction, and our repentance allows us to accept and take the next step.
Here are a few more passages which mention repentance:
Lk 11:32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now One greater than Jonah is here.
Lk 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Lk 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Note that in the last two verses, Jesus did NOT say, “There is rejoicing………over one sinner who is saved.” Again, I don’t know why Jesus chose His wording. We can only speculate. However, one thing we can say for sure: Repentance is very, very important.
For those of us who wrestle against same-sex attractions, we can take away one important message. It is important that we come to a place of repentance in regard to our homosexual behavior failures. I have no doubt but that everyone who is reading this has been and continues to be repentant over his or her failures; not only in the realm of homosexual sins, but other kinds of sins as well. But just in case there might be one someone who has not repented, today would be a good time to take that step. It is extremely important.
Prayer: Father, lead us all to repentance. You would not have emphasized it so often if it were not important. Especially, we request that Your Holy Spirit lead our openly gay friends to repentance, and that You lead them onto and into Your life’s pathway.