Greater Responsibility

Jesus’ stinging denunciation of these small towns teaches us a great deal about the coming judgment of God: - It will be terrible and total. The ancient cities of Tyre were overthrown by fierce armies; Sodom and Gomorrah, to which Jesus refers in the next verse, were wiped out by fire from heaven (Genesis 19:24-25). Jesus Himself spoke of “hell fire” (5:22); “destruction” (7:13); and of “outer darkness,” where “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (8:12). - It will be according to the light which we have received. Those who have been exposed to more of God’s revelation will be judged more severely than those who have had less of an opportunity to know God and turn to Him (John 15:22; Hebrews 10:28-29). Thus, those people who heard Jesus’ preaching and saw His miracles, but rejected Him anyway, will receive a worse punishment than the citizens of pagan cities which knew only God’s general revelation and His warnings through the prophets of Israel (Romans 1:18-32; Isaiah 23). For those who have heard the Gospel of Christ, it will be based on our response. Did we repent of our sins and turn to Him in faith? If so, we shall be forgiven of all our sins and enter into everlasting life. If, on the other hand, we harden our hearts and seek to hide our sins, not admitting them and trusting in God’s grace to us through Christ, there is a “fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation” (Hebrews 10:27). Greater privilege carries greater responsibility.