Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 18th July 2023: Woe to those who are indifferent!

Hell Sin Warning Jesus Matthew 11

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 11


Then Jesus began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, on the day of judgement it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum,

Will you be exalted to heaven?
No, you will be brought down to Hades.

For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that on the day of judgement it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


As children we are given lots of toys, everything that is the rage at the time - Bako building sets, Lego, Star Wars, Mario games etc. But some of our earliest gifts were soft, cuddly toys, and pictures of a gentle Jesus. Often these will have started at a time when loved ones gave them pictures of Jesus, or perhaps Saint Francis, surrounded by small children and animals. The former surely represents Charles Wesley's hymn:

' Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child;
Pity my simplicity,
Suffer me to come to Thee.' (Verse 1)

Most of our early toys have been given away, unless we are serious collectors. But many of us still cling to an image of Jesus as meek and mild. Today's passage from Matthew's gospel needs to change that picture in our mind! We don't know what happened in these towns, though it was obviously significant. The 'woe' in Jesus' words expresses sadness as well as condemnation that the inhabitants were indifferent to the message Jesus carried to them. To be indifferent to Jesus and his message of God's love is a sin, and will bring serious consequences!


Lord Jesus Christ,
let us never forget
Your power and authority as the King of kings,
and Lord of lords.
May we realise that we ignore
Your message of the Gospel at our peril.
We ask Your forgiveness for our sin,
particularly for our indifference:
and for the days when we ignore You
and put You "on the back-burner" of our life.
Help us to listen, learn, and then follow You
this day and all our tomorrows.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to listen to this classic hymn to the tune diadem:

Or this, to sing to:

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