Easter - 2018

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mountain Tops

"As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead." - Matthew 17:9
Mountains were very important to Matthew. When Jesus was tempted to worship the devil in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world, it happened on a mountain. It was good enough for Luke to have Jesus preaching on a nice level place, but when Jesus preaches essentially the same sermon in Matthew he does so on a mountain. That's why we call it the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus went to the mountain to pray. And in Matthew 17, we have this story of the transfiguration, which happened on a mountain.

What is it about something happening on a mountain that adds such special significance? For Matthew, whose roots were in the Jewish tradition and who was writing to Jewish Christians, mountains were holy dwellings of God, places where God's presence was known and God's laws were given. Mountains became symbols of the way things would be when God's rule finally would extend over the earth. "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths" (Isaiah 2:3).

Whatever we make of this story of the transfiguration, it is no accident that it happened on a mountain. On a mountain the glory of Jesus is revealed and the voice from heaven says, "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!" We aren't sure how God is going to transfigure us in the future, but we like this idea of mountains.

When we are out driving and approach a great stretch of mountains, it is breathtaking and terribly humbling. A drive through the mountains gives us a different perspective on things. Some people invest a lot of time and money in mountain-climbing. That's not for the exercise. They could get the exercise doing a hundred other things. Mountain-climbing is about mastering the mystery and standing where few have stood. We rarely hear of stories about the treacherous descent down a mountain, even though that is great exercise as well. The stories are always about climbing the mountain, risking it all to get to the top, and spending time on some high peak that causes people to see things, and maybe even themselves, differently.

We like the mountains. We even describe some of our greatest moments as mountain-top experiences, but we can't stay on the mountain forever. The emotional level is too intense. However, we can take with us what we experienced on the mountain. It how we share that experience that will define us as Christians.

You know I love ya - Don


Emeila said...

When I found Jesus, I looked at the world differently. I enjoyed looking at God's creatures, nature and appreciated life.

I started to draw just his world and thanked him for this special gift. He is my number one Artist.

Anders Branderud said...

Quote: “roots were in the Jewish tradition and who was writing to Jewish Christians”

(le-havdil), A logical analysis (found here: www.netzarim.co.il (that is the only legitimate Netzarim)) of all extant source documents and archeology proves that the historical Ribi Yehosuha ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) from Nazareth and his talmidim (apprentice-students), called the Netzarim, taught and lived Torah all of their lives; and that Netzarim and Christianity were always antithetical.

Judaism and Christianity have always been two antithetical religions, and thus the term “Jewish Christians” is an oxymoron.

Ribi Yehoshuas talmidim Netzairm still observes Torah non-selectively to their utmost today and the research in the above website implies that becoming one of Ribi Yehoshuas Netzarim-followers is the only way to follow him.

David Lee Smith said...

You are a wonderful inspiration, Don. Love your writing.

David Lee Smith said...

You are an inspiration. Love your thoughts and look forward to them...miss ya.

Don Crane said...

Thanks David and Emeila. David, I received a reference call on you yesterday. Praying it goes well.
Anders, not sure where you are going with this, but keep searching and you will find the answers and The Answer. You know I love ya - Don