Luke 10:14

ESV But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
NIV But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
NASB But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you.
CSB But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
NLT Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
KJV But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

What does Luke 10:14 mean?

Jesus is comparing how Gentiles would respond to His miracles to how Jewish cities did respond. Chorazin and Bethsaida witnessed extensive miracles of healing, exorcisms, and even the feeding of thousands of people with a tiny meal. Yet, for the most part, the people reject Jesus' call to repentance. If He had performed those same miracles in Tyre and Sidon, "they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes" (Luke 10:13).

Tyre and Sidon are significant port cities on the coast of the Mediterranean. Bethsaida is on the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee near where Jesus fed thousands; Chorazin is likely near Capernaum where Jesus lived. Jesus pairs the cities to represent geographic areas. Jesus' point is that He spent a great deal of time ministering in and around Capernaum and Chorazin and almost no time in Tyre and Sidon. In fact, He only went to Tyre and Sidon because He wanted a quiet place in which to teach the disciples, and only one miracle is recorded (Mark 7:24–30).

The unpopular fact of human sin means those who do not accept Jesus as their savior will go to hell (John 3:16–18, 36). This verse, however, indicates there are different levels of punishment in hell. The more an unbeliever knows about God, Jesus, and the offer of salvation (Romans 1:18–21) and chooses to reject that offer (Matthew 7:7–8), the more they are culpable for their sin of rebellion. Chorazin and Bethsaida—and especially Capernaum (Luke 10:15)—saw Jesus' miraculous powers and heard Him teach. The people around Tyre and Sidon witnessed comparatively little. Consequently, the people of northeastern Galilee will face a much harsher judgment in eternity than the Gentiles of Phoenicia.

If, however, He had ministered to Tyre and Sidon as much as He had in northeast Galilee, the pagan Gentiles would have repented and mourned their sin (Luke 10:13). So, why didn't He?

God chose the Jews as His people. Not just to reveal to the world God's power and authority, but to invite the world to worship God. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham that his descendants would bless the "families of the earth" (Genesis 12:2–3). Although Jesus ministered to Gentiles when they found Him, His mission was to invite the Jews to accept Him as their Messiah so they could start the work of converting the world (Romans 1:16). As a nation, they refused. And so, the Jews have temporarily lost their favored position until the "times of the Gentiles" is complete (Luke 21:24).
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