An amazing opportunity


Matthew 11:20 “Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.”

I find it interesting that people living in an area with many tourist attractions tend to ignore these well-visited places. For twenty-five years I lived only fifteen miles from New York City, but traveling into the Big Apple was a rare occasion for my family. This was the same with other local landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Jersey shore. Similarly, many locals in northern Judea had front row seats to Jesus’ teachings and miracles, but still refused to believe and repent. In both cases there was a missed opportunity!

Matthew has spent eleven chapters making a case for Jesus as the Messiah, the heavenly King. He started with Jesus’ genealogy proving He was the son of David and the promised son of Abraham. He records many fulfillments of the Old Testament Scripture and Jesus’ teaching about Kingdom conduct. Matthew also records a number of miracles to give proof to the claim of His identity. But after all of this the citizens of the towns closest to Jesus’ headquarters still choose to disregard Him.

Sadly, those who had the best opportunity to know the Father through the Son turned away. John, another apostle, wrote that “He came unto His own, but His own did not receive Him.” These unbelievers forfeited the eternal life that can only be found in Jesus. For “no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27b).

In response to this blatant unbelief, Jesus turns away from these cities and makes an offer to anyone who will listen. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Anyone who carried the weight of sin could come to Jesus to receive the “rest” of forgiveness and salvation.

Continuing the offer Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Living for the King as a citizen of His spiritual kingdom would be hard, but those who were yoked with Jesus would find that He shoulders the lion’s share and supplies all that is needed for every task at hand.

Those who lived in close proximity to Jesus while He ministered on the earth missed this amazing opportunity! More than missing a famous local landmark, they lost the opportunity to know the Father and receive the “rest” of forgiveness and salvation that only Jesus can give! But it’s not too late for you. Are you weary and burdened with sin? Come to Jesus and you will find rest for your souls.



Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

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