“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”Luke 10:13-16
Foreigners often proved more receptive to Jesus than the children of Israel, such as the Roman centurion, the Canaanite (Syrophoenician) woman, and the Samaritan woman at the well.1 In a conversation with the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus used the extreme examples of the “men of Nineveh” (Assyrians) and the “Queen of the south” (Sheba) surpassing the Israelites in faith and repentance.2 In this passage, the privileged heirs of the promise are weighed against the “unclean” cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom.3 The comparison is shocking.
1 Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10; John 4:49-54; Mark 7:24-30; Matthew 15:21-28; John 4:4-42.
2 Matthew 12:41-42; Luke 11:30-32.
3 Sodom is mentioned in Matthew 11:20-24.