Finding Wisdom Amidst the Ruins


“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.” Luke 10:13-15 (NIV)

When you visit Israel, there are a million places you can visit. Jerusalem and the temple mount are a big attraction. Floating in the Dead Sea and trekking up to the fortress of Masada makes the top of most tourist’s list as does a dinner cruise on the Sea of Galilee. Then there is Megiddo, Mount Carmel, Mount Gilboa, the Garden Tomb, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, The Jordan River, and on and on and on.

As I and my companions made our way around the north shore of the of Sea of Galilee, our guide, George, took a turn onto some back roads. It was obvious that we were off the beaten path. Even George, who knows the area like the back of his hand, seemed a bit lost for a few minutes. Finally we pulled into a group of ruins and got out. The site was desolate and bare. Unlike many sites in the Holy Land there was no hoopla. There were no trinket shops or refreshment stands. This place was clearly among the official sites to get scratched off the “must see” list for most tourists. The place was dead.

We were in the ruins of Chorazin, a small backwater town where Jesus once taught and performed miracles. The people of Chorazin did not respond favorably to Jesus message and miracles, however. I pondered Jesus’ words of woe as I walked silently among the ruined walls and abandoned buildings.

Wendy and I have been talking a lot this past week about the small daily choices we make and their cumulative effects. “I place before you Life and Death,” God once told His people before adding, “Choose life.” Along this journey I’ve come to realize that the choice of Life or Death is not a one time monumental decision, but a series of small daily choices that I make every day. What I choose to eat and how much of it I consume slowly affects my weight, my mood, and a myriad of other health issues. If I choose to sleep in and forget an important meeting it will affect my client relationship and, eventually, my income. If I consistently choose to give in to little bad habits they will eventually lead to very big consequences.

I snapped the picture above from the rubble of Chorazin looking out over the Sea of Galilee. It’s become a constant reminder to me that Jesus is both Savior and Judge. I find that I love to think of Jesus the Savior, but I like to conveniently forget Jesus the Judge. Woe to me for doing so, for amidst a judged Chorazin there is wisdom to be found for those who choose to wander in the ruins and digest Jesus’ words.

3 thoughts on “Finding Wisdom Amidst the Ruins”

  1. 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

    It’s so easy to get distracted. My only focus needs to be on Jesus and the plans He has for me. We hustle and bustle around, which inherently isn’t bad, but do I slow down enough to focus on the few things that REALLY matter? God today I am reminded how important my relationship with you should be. Help me to slow down and make that a priority.


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