Mount of Beatitudes

Multitudes from all Israel and her neigh-boring regions thronged to Galilee to see Jesus. He delivered His most famous sermon on a “mount” or hill beside the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. This traditional location on the “Mount of Beatitudes” provides ample space for large crowds. In springtime, the hillside bursts forth with grass and flowers. Jesus drew on the setting to illustrate simple truths to His audience: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; . . . Look at the birds of the air; . . . And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow.” Jesus called them, “O you of little faith,” because they sought tomorrow’s needs today, instead of trusting God to supply as He sees best.

The real struggle for people—both then and now—seems to rest in the issue of control. For some reason, we feel more in control of our lives when we fret about them. But worry moves from God to us the burden of providing—a load He never intended for us to bear. When we seek God’s kingdom first, we yield to His control of our lives. And we come to see all things—even working for food and clothing—as opportunities to promote God’s kingdom and the growth of His righteousness in our hearts. On a gentle slope in Galilee, Jesus used simple illustrations we too can see—birds, flowers, and grass. Their continual presence gives testimony that God will provide for us too—as He always has.¹

  1. Adapted from Wayne Stiles, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey through the Lands of the Bible (Ventura, Calif.: Regal, 2006). Used by permission.