Luke 10:13-16 contains a difficult passage. If the people of Sodom, Tyre, and Sidon would have seen these miracles and repented, then why didn’t God do miracles in those cities?
13 “Woe to yous, Chorazin! Woe to yous Bethsaida, for if the mighty miracles had been done in Tyre and Sidon which have been done in youp, they would have repented a long time ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
[So the question arises, if the people of Sodom, Tyre, and Sidon would have seen these miracles and repented, then why didn’t God do miracles in those cities? The timing would not have been right, for Jesus was born at the perfect time (Romans 5:6, 1 Timothy 2:6, and Galatians 4:4). If Jesus would have come to Sodom and done these miracles, then He would have come too early. There needed to be an Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as well as a King David, a virgin Mary, and the correct cultural and governmental situation. Nonetheless, Sodom had the witness of Abraham, Lot, and Melchizedek (Genesis 14:1-24). Tyre had the witness of King David (2 Samuel 5:11 and the prophesies of Ezekiel 26). Sidon had the testimony of Isaiah (Isaiah 23) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 27). So, we do find it taught that there are degrees of punishment. The more the light, if rejected, the greater the punishment. See Romans 2:5, Revelation 9:21. Lightfoot writes on Galatians 4:4: “It was ‘the fulness of time.’ First: in reference to the giver. The moment had arrived which God had ordained from the beginning and foretold by His prophets for Messiah’s coming. This is implied in the comparison ‘the time appointed of the Father.’ Secondly: In reference to the recipient. The gospel was withheld until the world had arrived at mature age; law had worked out its educational purpose and now was superseded. This educational work had been twofold: 1. Negative: It was the purpose of all law, but especially of the Mosaic law, to deepen the conviction of sin and thus to show the inability of all existing systems to bring men near to God This idea which is so prominent in the Epistle to the Romans appears in the context here, vers. 19, 21. 2. Positive: The comparison of the child implies more than a negative effect. A moral and spiritual expansion, which rendered the world more capable of apprehending the gospel than it would have been at an earlier age, must be assumed, corresponding to the growth of the individual; since otherwise the metaphor would be robbed of more than half its meaning.—The primary reference in all this is plainly to the Mosaic law; but the whole context shows that the Gentile converts of Galatia are also included, and that they too are regarded as having undergone an elementary discipline, up to a certain point analogous to that of the Jew].”
14 “Moreover, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for youp.
15 “And yous Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, yous will be thrown down to Hades.
[Exalted to heaven because the rather longtime ministry of Jesus and all the miracles. They had no excuse].
16 “He, who hears youp, hears me. He, who despises youp, despises me. He, who despises me, despises him who sent me.”
[The Greek word for despise is ἀθετέω athetéō (G114). It means to set aside in different contexts. Here it is the idea of to reject, refuse, slight (Thayers). The motivation for despising and rejecting is hate. What do these people hate? Why do they hate? See John 3:18-21 and John 7:7. Every person must come to a conclusion about Jesus Christ—either to love Him and join Him through faith (Acts 2:41) or reject/refuse Him and stay under God’s wrath. See John 10:20, John 8:43-48, John 3:36, and Romans 2:25].