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Bethsaida and Chorazin

"Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.' I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 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 shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you." (Luke 10:8-14 RSV)

Chorazin and Bethsaida Chorazin

Chorazin was a city in Galilee which was located about 2 miles / 3 kilometers north of Capernaum, the city on the Sea Of Galilee where Jesus Christ went to live after He left Nazareth. Although apparently a prominent city during Jesus' human lifetime, it became uninhabited by the third century AD. It is today identified as Khirbet Kerazeh, which is a ruin.

Bethsaida

Bethsaida was a fishing village (Bethsaida means house of fishing) on the shore of the Sea of Galilee about 2 miles / 3 kilometers east of Capernaum. It was the home town of Peter, Andrew and Philip:

"The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (John 1:43-45 RSV)

Two of the Messiah's most well-known miracles were done near Bethsaida:

"And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to Him a blind man, and begged Him to touch him. And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when He had spit on his eyes and laid His hands upon him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men; but they look like trees, walking." Then again He laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly." (Mark 8:22-25 RSV)

"On their return the apostles told Him what they had done. And He took them and withdrew apart to a city called Bethsaida. When the crowds learned it, they followed Him; and He welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away; and the twelve came and said to Him, "Send the crowd away, to go into the villages and country round about, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a lonely place." But He said to them, "You give them something to eat." They said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish - unless we are to go and buy food for all these people." For there were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, "Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each." And they did so, and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish He looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were satisfied." (Luke 9:10-17 RSV)

"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!"

As quoted in the opening paragraph, Jesus Christ was well-familiar with the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida, and they of Him. They heard the Truth, and rejected it. They made a very tragic mistake for themselves:

"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 shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you." (Luke 10:8-14 RSV)

Fact Finder: (a) Was the reason that Jesus Christ went to live in Capernaum because the people of His home town, Nazareth, not only rejected Him, but actually tried to kill Him by throwing Him over a cliff? (b) Did the people of Capernaum also reject Him?
(a) Luke 4:16-30
(b) Matthew 11:23-24


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