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Episode 7: Mount Arbel – Sermon on the Mount and the Great Commission (Along the Road)

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MOUNT ARBEL IS A NATURE RESERVE THAT’S DESIGNED TO HELP PRESERVE THE ECOSYSTEM
IN THIS AREA AROUND THE WESTERN
SHORE OF THE SEA OF GALILEE. THIS HIKING TRAIL WE’RE ON
DOESN’T LOOK LIKE MUCH TODAY. AT THE TIME OF JESUS IT IS
THE INTERNATIONAL HIGHWAY, THE HIGHWAY THAT
CONNECTED ASIA AND AFRICA AND EUROPE THROUGH ISRAEL. IT DESCENDED FROM LOWER GALILEE THROUGH THE CUT IN THE TERRAIN
HERE CALLED THE WADI HAMAM, ALL THE WAY DOWN TO
THE SEA OF GALILEE, ON TO DAMASCUS AND THE REST
OF THE MEDITERRANEAN. I ALWAYS SAY WHEN I BACKPACK, HALF THE FUN IS MEETING
THE PEOPLE I MEET. HEY, GUYS, HOW’RE YOU
DOING? YOM TOV, YOM TOV! HOW ARE YOU TODAY? WHERE YOU HEADED? FROM
THE MOUNTAIN TO…WHERE YOU… TO GINOSAR. I AM…
I LOVE BACKPACKING. YOU GUYS HAVE AN AMAZING TRIP! I’M WONDERING IF YOU’RE UP
FOR A LITTLE BIT OF ADVENTURE. I LOVE MOUNTAIN CLIMBING
AND I’VE GOT A GREAT MOUNTAIN FOR US TO CLIMB.
IT’S A MOUNTAIN THAT JESUS AND THE DISCIPLES
CLIMBED MORE THAN ONCE. IT’S JUST HERE,
MOUNT ARBEL. AS YOU PROBABLY HAVE GUESSED
BY NOW, IT’S THE SETTING FOR TWO DIFFERENT STORIES
WE HAVE FROM JESUS’ LIFE. THE FIRST ONE CHRISTIANS CALL
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. IT’S A EXTENDED TEACHING
TIME WITH THE DISCIPLES. THE SECOND TIME
JESUS COMES UP HERE IS IN ORDER TO GIVE
THE GREAT COMMISSION, THAT DIRECTIVE JESUS
GAVE THE DISCIPLES WHICH CHANGED THE COURSE
OF THEIR MINISTRY. AND YOU PROBABLY
GUESSED BY NOW, TOO, THAT I THINK THEY’RE
RELATED TO ONE ANOTHER. I’M GETTING COLD AND IT’S…
IT’S GETTING LATE, AND THERE’S NO WAY I’M GONNA TRY
TO CLIMB MOUNT ARBEL TONIGHT. IT’S GOT A CHANCE,
IT’S GOT A CHANCE. AND I WISH MY KIDS WERE
HERE TO SEE THIS BECAUSE THEY, FOR A WHILE, THOUGHT THEIR
FATHER COULD ONLY START FIRES IF HE BROUGHT ALONG
SOME LIGHTER FLUID, BUT DRY GRASS WILL DO AS WELL. I’M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TOMORROW TO THE OPPORTUNITY
TO CLIMB MOUNT ARBEL. IT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE
PLACES IN ISRAEL, I THINK, NOT ONLY BECAUSE THE VIEW
IS SO EXTRAORDINARY, AND IT IS. IT’S GOT ONE OF THE MOST
EXTRAORDINARY VIEWS IN THE LAND. BUT IT HAS A STORY
THAT AFFECTED MY LIFE, AND REALLY CHANGED
MY LIFE FOREVER. MY FOREBEARS WERE
FROM EUROPE AND THERE’S NO WAY THEY WOULD HAVE
HEARD ABOUT A MAN NAMED JESUS UNLESS JESUS HAD
CHANGED THE SCOPE OF THE DISCIPLES’ MINISTRY, AND HE
DID THAT ON TOP OF MOUNT ARBEL. HE… HE TOLD THE DISCIPLES THAT
AS THEY NOW BECAME TEACHERS, FULLY AUTHORIZED TO
TEACH EVERYTHING THAT HE HAD
SHARED WITH THEM, IT MEANT THAT… THAT THEY WERE
SHARING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE WITH PEOPLE WHO
TRAVELED ALONG THE ROAD THAT
I’M CAMPING NEAR, AND THE ROAD ON WHICH I MET
SOME FELLOW HIKERS BEFORE. NOW, THOSE HIKERS REMINDED ME
OF THE MERCHANTS WHO WERE VERY MUCH A PART OF
THE WAY IN WHICH COMMODITIES MOVED FROM ONE PLACE TO THE
OTHER IN THE ANCIENT WORLD. THEY WEREN’T JUST
THE DISTRIBUTORS OF WOOL AND AROMATICS AND SPICES. THEY WERE ALSO DISTRIBUTORS
OF THE NEWS OF THE DAY. AND WHAT THEY DID
WAS CAME THROUGH THIS AREA THAT
WE’RE IN RIGHT HERE, JUST BELOW MOUNT ARBEL, AND THEY
PICKED UP THE NEWS OF THE DAY AS IT WAS TOLD BY THE DISCIPLES
AND BROUGHT IT TO EUROPE, SO THAT MY FOREBEARS
MIGHT BE ABLE TO LEARN THAT THEY HAD A MESSIAH,
THAT THEY HAD A SAVIOR. AND I’M THINKING ABOUT WHAT
IT MEANT FOR THE DISCIPLES TO HEAR WHAT
PROBABLY WAS A… NEWS THAT WAS
A LITTLE UPSETTING TO THEM, THAT, YOU KNOW, THEIR… THEIR
MISSION ACTUALLY GOT LARGER, BUT WITHOUT… WITHOUT THEM
CHANGING THE SCOPE OF WHAT THEY WERE THINKING ABOUT DOING,
AT LEAST AT A HUMAN LEVEL, I MIGHT NOT HAVE
FOUND JESUS AS MY SAVIOR. JESUS BEGINS THE SERMON ON
THE MOUNT WITH THE BEATITUDES, AND THE BEATITUDES REALLY ARE A
SURVEY OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. AND AS HE TURNS THEIR EYES TO
THE VIEW HE SAYS TO THEM, “BLESSED ARE THE
POOR IN SPIRIT “FOR THEIRS IS
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN. THEY WILL BE COMFORTED. “BLESSED ARE THE MEEK
FOR THEY WILL INHERIT THE EARTH. “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, “FOR THEY WILL BE FILLED.” WHAT A POWERFUL WAY TO
BEGIN THAT DISCOURSE. IT JUST DOESN’T END WITH
THAT SAME RHETORICAL FLOURISH. AND I THINK IT DOESN’T END
WITH A POWERFUL CONCLUSION BECAUSE JESUS WASN’T DONE HERE. I THINK THE LAST PARAGRAPH
OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT IS ACTUALLY THE WORDS
OF THE GREAT COMMISSION, AND THAT’S ONE OF
THE REASONS JESUS BROUGHT THE
DISCIPLES HERE, BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE
THIS COURSE BEGAN, AND THIS IS WHERE THIS
COURSE IS GOING TO RECEIVE ITS POWERFUL CONCLUSION.
AND FOR A TEACHER LIKE JESUS, WHO WAS VERY PARTICULAR ABOUT PUTTING IMPORTANT TEACHINGS IN THE CONTEXT OF VIEWS THAT
SUPPORTED THAT TEACHING, I COULDN’T EXPECT LESS FROM HIM
THAN TO PUT HIS FINAL WORDS IN A SETTING AS
DRAMATIC AS THIS. HERE HE LIFTS THEIR EYES
FROM THE PLACE THEY HAD BEEN
USED TO WORKING, ON THE NORTHWEST SHORE OF THE
SEA OF GALILEE, TO THE HORIZON. AND HE SAYS TO THEM,
I WANT YOU NOW TO GO “AND TAKE WHAT
I’VE TAUGHT YOU TO EVERYONE. “THEREFORE GO
AND TEACH ALL NATIONS.” THIS IS A PLACE THAT CHANGES
EVERYTHING FOR THE DISCIPLES, AND JESUS WANTED TO MAKE SURE
HE HAD A FITTING PLACE TO DELIVER THIS POWERFUL CONCLUSION
TO THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT THAT FOREVER CHANGED HOW THEY
THOUGHT ABOUT THEIR MISSION. WELL, THAT’S IT. WE’VE WALKED MANY MILES
TOGETHER THROUGH THIS LAND, LOOKING AT THE WAY JESUS USED
GEOGRAPHY TO TELL GOD’S STORY. AND THIS IS IT. THIS IS THE
FINAL VIEW THAT JESUS USED IN ORDER TO SPEAK THE LAST
WORDS TO THE DISCIPLES. HE SAID TO THEM, “THEREFORE GO MAKE
DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS.” THIS VIEW HASN’T CHANGED
SINCE THEY HEARD IT, AND NEITHER HAS OUR MISSION.

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2 thoughts on “Episode 7: Mount Arbel – Sermon on the Mount and the Great Commission (Along the Road)”

  1. Tem says:

    great content dude

  2. CathyAnne Tysinger says:

    Amen and Amen, Beautiful❤❤❤

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