Summary: Discussion of Jesus’ words about those cities who had heard his message and seen his miracles yet rejected him.

Recognizing and Acting on the Works of Christ.

Matthew 11:20-24

March 12, 2006


Why Is Missouri Called the "Show-Me" State? (Adapted from the official site of the Missouri Secretary of State)

There are a number of stories and legends behind Missouri’s unofficial slogan,the "Show-Me" state.

The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903.

In a speech, he declared, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."

Regardless of whether Vandiver coined the phrase, it is certain that his speech helped to popularize the saying.

Other versions of the "Show-Me" legend place the slogan’s origin in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. There, the phrase was first employed as a term of ridicule and reproach.

A miner’s strike had been in progress for some time in the mid-1890s, and a number of miners from the lead districts of southwest Missouri had been imported to take the places of the strikers.

The Missouri miners were unfamiliar with Colorado mining methods and required frequent instructions. Pit bosses began saying, "That man is from Missouri. You’ll have to show him."

Resources: Rossiter, Phyllis. "I’m from Missouri--you’ll have to show me." Rural Missouri, Volume 42, Number 3, March 1989, page 16. Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1979-1980, page 1486.

Well, today Jesus’ words give me the impression that he must have felt like he was dealing with people from Missouri.

How is that, you ask? Well, I’d invite you to turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew 11:20-24.

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

I’d like to think that I’m not very gullible, but I’ll admit that there have been times I’ve been taken in.

For instance, did you know that the word "gullible" isn’t even in the dictionary?

I’m wondering if maybe the people in these cities were ancestors to Missourians. But to an extreme.

Why? Because nothing Jesus did seemed to convince them.

But I don’t want to harp on these folks today. That would be easy enough, but I want us to look at what we can learn about Jesus and how he worked among people who didn’t seem to eager to receive him.

So I want to point out three lessons from Jesus, and one other fact that we need to keep in mind as well.

And in doing that, my real hope is that we’ll all take some of these things and make them part of our own life, okay?

Let’s get started. The first lesson we can learn about Jesus is that...

1. Jesus went out of his way to bring the message.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time here, but it needs to be noted that Jesus didn’t just set up shop in Nazareth and say, "If you want what I got, then you need to come to me and make an appointment with one of the twelve apostles."

Jesus walked all over the place, bringing the gospel to not only towns in Israel, but even went through Samaria a time or two, bring the good news to those hated "half-breed" Jews.

Why is this important? Because it shows that Jesus cared for those who either might not have opportunity to hear him unless he took the message to them.

Here in America, there are churches everywhere, and while there are many that are Christian in name only, there are plenty of places to go and hear the good news of Jesus.

Everywhere was a walk back then, and if you didn’t have the time, the energy, or the health, then you were just plain out of luck as far as that goes.

Jesus said, "I’ll take the message to them. I love them that much."

So here’s where I’m going with that:

One of my burning desires is that the individuals of this church become people who accurately and passionately reflect Christ to the people in our area.

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