Ruins of ancient Korazin
“Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes” (Matthew 11:21).
Once it was an important city, but today it lies in ruins.
In Jesus’ day, Korazin was part of the “Orthodox triangle.” The other two parts of the triangle were the nearby towns of Bethsaida (home to Peter, Andrew and Philip) and Capernaum. Those three towns were filled with devout Jews who took the Law seriously.
During our last visit to the Holy Land, we spent some time visiting Korazin. Unlike many other biblical sites in Israel, there isn’t anything else in Korazin. Certainly the ruins suggested quite a few wealthy people lived there. In the lower section of the town (not all of it has been excavated), one could see more modest homes. No doubt the weather here was agreeable, they could get fish from the nearby Sea of Galilee, and they could easily travel west to Nazareth or around the lake to Tiberius, and for the appointed feasts, they could easily make their way along good roads to Jerusalem.
The people of Korazin knew Jesus, and Jesus knew them. Jesus worked miracles in Korazin. Note the plural. Miracles. Not just one but many. We don’t know which ones because the New Testament doesn’t tell us. But this much we do know. They heard his words, listened to his message, knew who he was, and they saw the miracles he performed. Yet they did not repent.
They knew too much and believed too little.
This is a warning for religious people for whom Jesus is optional.
He is not an option.
He is the Lord God of the universe.
Bow down and worship him!
It is better not to have a miracle than to have a miracle and not repent.
It is better to be sick and not cured than to be cured and not give the glory to God.
It is better not to experience God than to experience God and stay the same as you were.
Help me not to take you for granted, Lord Jesus. May my knowledge lead to belief and my belief to worship. Amen.