“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. (Luke 9:13-15)
In this week’s readings we are reminded that the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ is good news offered to all people, not just the Jews. The prophet Isaiah states this openly as he praises God for His great blessings upon His people. He speaks of the great comfort and peace that the Messiah would bring to His people. He also prophesies that these blessings are extended to the Gentiles as well. They will praise God because of Israel, because of the testimony of God’s people.
In the Gospel reading from Luke, we find Jesus delivering a similar message in the form of a warning to the Chosen people. He is aware that, as a whole, the Jews would reject Him and His offer of salvation. He adds, in a rather vehement and graphic manner, that the Gentiles would accept the peace He brings while the Jews would not. They would receive the blessings while, as a whole, the nation of Israel would not.
The point is summed up by Paul in Galatians: God will not be mocked. All men and women must accept His agenda, His way of bringing peace to the world in and through Jesus Christ alone or suffer the consequences. This means separation from Him in Hell for all eternity. We believers have been commissioned to bring this gospel to all people, not just those we like, or those who are of our own social, ethnic or racial background or political leanings. We must accept God’s agenda as is and preach the Gospel to all