It’s not Shakespearean poetry, but the advice given to Peter Parker by his Uncle Ben in the comic book backstory of Spiderman ranks pretty high: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
In our fallen state, we tend to abhor the notion of responsibility. (Just look at the comically tragic conversation Adam and Eve had with God in Genesis 3 for the earliest human example of that!)
History abounds with people who were given great opportunities, great power, and great knowledge, and yet they refused to recognize it. Just consider the village of Chorazin.
What’s left of the village are the remains of several basalt-rock structures, including the synagogue. Chorazin is a short hike from Capernaum, Jesus’ base of ministry. The view of the Sea of Galilee is beautiful.
Yet what the residents did not appreciate was the even more spectacular view they had of history.
The gospels of Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ admonition to the people in the villages of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and even Capernaum. These are places in which the residents had witnessed what Jesus Himself described as “mighty works” but nonetheless rejected Him.
They were given a front-row seat to the performance of miracles and divine teaching, yet shrugged them off.
“Woe to you,” Jesus said to them, adding that it will be “more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom” than for those places.
As heirs in America to a biblically based system of self-governance, we have the highest standard of living in all of human history. We take for granted conveniences unimaginable just decades ago. Yet, never in American history has the call for socialism and the tyranny to which it inevitably leads been louder.
We are witnesses to the bountiful blessings that can flow from liberty, but in our sloth, we risk—like the people of Chorazin—shrugging it off… and falling woefully away.
When people in countries that have never known liberty make bad choices, it shouldn’t surprise us. They don’t know better, but we do. We have no excuses.
We have been witnesses to mighty works. We have a responsibility to respond accordingly.
(Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. He is the author of three books.)