What an amazing experience this has been. Let me share what I mean…
The Sermon on the Mount
In Matthew 5-7 we read that Jesus went up into a mountain and taught the disciples. Perhaps its because I’m from the Western United States that I have such high standards for the usage of the word mountain. Nevertheless, the gospels often speak of Jesus retreating into the hills to teach, prayer and sometimes be alone.
Jesus spent most of his 3.5 years of ministry in Northern Israel or Galilee. This is where he called most of his disciples, taught most of his sermons and performed most of his miracles. At the hight of His popularity Jesus gave His most famous sermon. We call it the sermon on the mount. It was here that Jesus and his disciples led great multitudes of people into the hills that overlook the Sea of Galilee, sat them down and expressed some of the most incredible truths the human ear had ever heard. Here it was that Jesus taught the beatitudes. It was from this hillside that He called for His followers to be salt and light. “Turn the other cheek”, “thy cloak also”, “go with him twain”; these are all points in our Lord’s mountaintop sermon.
This was such an emotional experience for me. My imagination went wild picturing the thousands who would have sat upon these hills listening to our Lord.
Though Jesus loved to teach outdoors he often found himself teaching in homes (Mark 2:1-12), and Synagogues (Mark 1:21-28). He traveled throughout the entire region but made his headquarters the hometown of Peter, Andrew, James & John. I had the incredible privilege of reading the Scriptures here that speak of Jesus teaching in this very location.
John 1:29-26 speaks of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan river. It was a river bank similar to the one behind me that John the Baptist would have noticed Jesus coming and declared of his cousin, Behold the Lamb of God, indicating his belief that Jesus was the Messiah and initiating Jesus’ public ministry. This was all prophesied in Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1.
Check back tomorrow for my next post. Feel free to comment below: