Lent Devotional: Matthew 11:20-24

by Jonathan Haefs

Matthew 11:20-24 (click here)
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. (Matthew 11:20)

“You’re older than him… you should know better!”

I cannot count the number of times I heard those words from one of my parents after I had gotten into a fight with my younger brother. Typically, these fights would escalate to some form of a physical altercation, which would end with him running to mom or dad in tears.

Granted… I am five years older than him, and when we were young this meant that I was far bigger and able to win every fight we ever had. But it was not my superior size that my parents pointed to when disciplining me… it was my age… or more accurately, my experience and exposure. Their words pointed to the fact that because I had been alive longer, I had more time to learn and experience the proper way to behave. Apparently, this made me more responsible, more culpable than my brother.

In Matthew 11, Jesus says something similar to many cities who had witnessed his ministry and miracles. Because of their exposure and experience, they were more responsible, more culpable than other cities who had not seen the things they had seen. It’s not that these other cities bore no responsibility for their unrepentant hearts, but that guilt grows the more his light shines and we still run to darkness.

How much has Christ light shown into our lives? Through Scripture, sermons, other people, etc I know that I have had endless exposure to the glorious Gospel of Christ. Has that led me to repent… or to run? One thing I know… I cannot deny that I am responsible!

What have you done with the light of Christ’s glory that has shown into your life? Has it led to you repent and run to him… or have you run from him? May we run to the light of Christ through the glorious gift of repentance! And, may we call others to do the same!

Repentance is running to Christ!

*All previous devotionals may be found at 
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.