The wrath of Jesus — 2 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I’m not a Christian but searching and I came across this passage where Jesus condemns these towns in Matt 11:20 for simply no accepting him and his works by faith and for that, the town – man, woman and child are sent to hell and what waits for them will be worse than the inhabitants of Sodom. Seems a bit harsh. Did they jeer him? despise him? did they harm him? No, they just didn’t believe in him and his miracles.

    Is this really is this Jesus speaking? The turn the other cheek, don’t hate who despises you, love they enemies Jesus?.

    Can you help me here? can you show me in Matthew where does Jesus specifically say “come and believe and have faith in me and my miracles and ye shall not be sent to hell but have eternal life”? I can’t find it anywhere in Matthew.
    I’m searching but I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around this.
    best regards

    • Hi Barry, and thanks for commenting.

      I can see why you think Jesus’ condemnation of whole cities seems harsh. It is. Then you ask if Jesus, who commands us to love our enemies, could really say such a thing. He did. Here’s a hard truth: love motivates everything Jesus does and says in the Bible, even the offensive bits. We can get offended and walk away from him, or we can ponder the hard bits until we see the love. I pray that’s what you’ll do.

      The entire human race is in rebellion against God. In his death and resurrection, Jesus offers us an astounding deal: we can plead guilty, and when we do, God will adopt us into his family as if we had never turned against him in the first place. Think of it as an amnesty deal. The cities Jesus condemned knew him. They had heard him preach. They had seen his works and his character. They should have noticed in him the fulfillment of centuries of prophecy. Yet they spurned him. In every synagogue service, they heard the law of Moses, which declared their guilt. They heard readings from the prophets, which contain both the judgments agains rebels and the astounding promises of grace to all who turn to God. But they figured the animal sacrifices at the temple were good enough. They refused to plead guilty in God’s court. They preferred to remain in rebellion against God. Their condemnation is entirely just. If they won’t accept an amnesty, it means God must continue to remember their sin and judge them for it.

      I suspect that, like a lot of people, you see most people as basically good. You see sin as some kind of religious abstraction. You like a lot of Jesus’ teaching, but haven’t quite grasped that he sees people differently from how you see them. But he’s the rightful Lord of the universe. He’s the judge.

      If you’re looking for a passage in Matthew, compare 25:34 and 25:41. It’s not quite what you’re asking about, because the issue is mercy and service, not faith and belief. But he invites those he accepts to “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.” He tells those he rejects to depart “to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” That fire was never intended for humans, but if humans prefer to obey the word of the devil to the word of God, they choose to accept his fate.

      I hope this makes sense to you, but you will never succeed in wrapping your brain around the mind of God. Ours is too little, his too vast.

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