Understanding the Scene
When analyzing any portion of God’s word many different aspects are pivotal in our understanding of scripture. Before we look into the Beatitudes let’s take a look at the scene the Bible has established. (Matthew 5:1-2) says when Jesus had saw the crowds he went on a mountainside and sat down his disciples came to him and he began to teach them. One thing I love to do when getting into any portion of scripture is imagine myself being at their at the scene of the event. So picture this Jesus has been going throughout Galilee teaching in their synagogue’s , proclaiming the kingdom of God. Though Jesus was from Nazareth he was from he chose to begin his ministry in Galilee. You may ask yourself why Galilee what was so significant about Galilee let’s take a look at this because I believe this information will prove valuable later.
Geographically Galilee was located on the northernmost part of Palestine and consisted of the region’s of Issachar, Zebulon, Asher and Naphtali. Galilee was known as a region of great natural fertility. It was known as the region that rejected no plant. The walnut tree which grows in a wintry climate would grow but so would the palm tree. Galilee was known for its many manufacturers, fishermen and even commerce. What is even more astounding about this area is of the 32 recorded parables of Jesus 19 of them take place in the area of Galilee. Jesus also not only called the disciples to be fishers of men he gave them the great commission as well. Galilee was definitely a place that was historic to the disciples.
Another aspect of this passage that is important to examine is the actual place this took place at which was a mountain. Mountains are mentioned many different times throughout scriptures. It was on Mount Ararat Noah’s Ark rested after the flood (Genesis 8:1-5), it was on Mount Sinai Moses received the 10 commandments from God a symbol of God’s covenant with Israel (Exodus 19:20,24), it was on Mount Carmel Elijah calls God to light a sacrifice on fire and proving to the prophets of Baal that he is the one true God (1 Kings 18), it was on the Mount of Olives Jesus prayed before he was crucified later he would ascend to heaven from the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:39-49 and Acts 19:12). So with these few examples here to show us how important mountains are I now believe we can understand this was an important event. It was believed by many people at this time the higher you were on a mountain the closer you were to God. Though this may not necessarily be true what is true is that this was a pivotal moment in Jesus ministry as he was striving to install Christian character in his disciples.