Exploring Greece, Israel, and Jordan– Part Forty Seven

Exploring Greece, Israel, and Jordan– Part Forty Seven August 15, 2018

Certainly one of the most tranquil and beautiful sites near the Sea of Galilee is the so-called Mt. of Beatitudes. We honestly do not know exactly where Jesus taught the beatitudes, but the indications are it was somewhere bigger than this locale, since there was a large crowd involved. It doesn’t much matter, this is a fine place to contemplate the meaning of Jesus’ counter intuitive eschatological beatitudes. Here’s the view….. The Franciscans and other Catholic orders do nice work with the flowers and landscaping. In case you are wondering, you are looking at bougainvillea, flame trees, and roses of various sorts.

We decided to do our reflecting on the beatitudes under this beautiful tree…. There are so many things one could say about these beatitudes. In the first place Jesus is largely talking about things that are not yet true, but one day will be true when the Kingdom comes fully on earth— the mourning will be fully comforted then, the meek shall inherit the earth then, and so on. There are two Matthean beatitudes which speak to the present however– for instance the poor in spirit are said to be in possession of the divine saving activity of God=kingdom now. In the present dominion/kingdom means the incursion of the divine saving activity (‘if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then…..’) in the future Jesus is talking about a place which can be entered, obtained, inherited. Lastly, note that Jesus is talking about the reversal of normal expectations— the last shall become first and blessed, and so on.

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