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The Mountain in the Oldest City in the World

Winter reflection on Jesus temptation


When I opened our front door today, what I saw was mountains.  Where I live, we are surrounded by mountains.  When you look right, there are mountains. When you look left, there are mountains.



I never thought mountains in the winter could be so beautiful. The shades of gray and white turn into almost lavender, and the trees look like leaves upon a bushy hill.



In my younger days, I had my fill of mountains but if there is one mountain I would’ve wanted to climb, it is found in the oldest city in the world.



This is the mountain found in Jericho.  It is not a pretty sight as it is mostly ground with rock surfaces but it surprisingly has a water source.  



On the mountain, there are centuries-old monasteries and a chapel built out of the rock, ravaged by wars.  There is an ancient, sacred seat that was where Jesus sat during his time of temptation (Luke 4:1-13)



Many places in Israel have churches over sacred spots where Jesus walked, but on this mountain, I fancied myself touching a tree, where Jesus may have leaned His head or a rock, where He could’ve rested his foot while the grumblings of his stomach troubled him. 



Was it cold and wet on that mountain?  I am sure it was, especially during the night.  It must have been hard leaving the comfort of His home and the warm meals surrounded by His loving family.



Many things in our lives are like mountains, even if we don't want to climb them, we do and we fail.  The hunger for life's purpose or our own human nature may cause grumblings in our hearts and disturb our peace.



In all of this, we are not alone.  The God of the Universe who many of us know IS love - shared our fallen existence.  He suffered all for love of us.

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