Can you read about Jesus’ life on earth and not be moved? He showed compassion for individuals and crowds. He healed sick people. Fed thousands. Taught small crowds and big ones. He answered questions, sometimes answering the same question more than once. He revealed Himself as the Son of God with power, and gentleness. Isn’t He someone you’d like to hang out with?
Scripture doesn’t tell us a lot about Jesus’ ministry in Korazin and Bethsaida, or Capernaum. What He does say is that He was there. He performed the same miracles we read about in other places – but these people were indifferent to anything He said or did. Having an encounter with Jesus did not change them. And Jesus said the penalty for that is worse than anything that happened to Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom.
William Barclay likens indifference to freezing. He says it “slowly suffocates the life out of (religion). (The Daily Study Bible Series, the Gospel of Matthew, volume 2; William Barclay;1975; The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA; page 13)
You’ve probably heard stories of people who freeze or almost freeze to death. A hiker is caught in a sudden storm, temperatures drop. In that extreme cold, the organs of his body begin to slow down. He gives no thought of dying. He doesn’t even feel cold anymore. He just wants to sleep…
Years ago my sister was having car trouble, so she and our Dad went to the garage to work on it. It was winter, but Dad insisted on keeping the garage door open a foot or two for ventilation. The trouble was in the ignition, so Dad told Kathy to sit behind the wheel and keep the car running while he tried to fix it. If the car began to stall, she was to give it more gas.
At some point Dad left to get a tool out of the basement, and told Kathy to keep the car running. She doesn’t know how long he was gone, but she was surprised when her head suddenly dropped to her chest. She shook the cobwebs out of her head, and continued to keep her foot on the gas pedal. Again, her head dropped to her chest. This time she heard a voice telling her to get out of there. Thankfully, she did.
I thought about that as I was considering these verses today. Kathy would tell you the carbon monoxide overtook her without her even knowing it was happening. Slowly, she began to fall asleep, and would have died had she not forced her body to take one intentional step at a time toward the door of the garage.
I think indifference is kind of like that. God is revealing Himself to all of us every minute of every day. Do you understand the danger of ignoring those attempts, or being unmoved by them? Indifference is a slow, steady killer of souls.
So my question is, are you in the process of freezing to death? Has indifference begun to lull you to sleep? You might not even be aware of it happening, but the danger is real, and deadly.
I hope you’ll read these chapters in Matthew and let God move you today. Let Him reveal Himself, show you how much He loves you. And I pray that you will be anything but indifferent.