Mt. Precipice by Pastor Don
After His baptism and His time of temptation in the wilderness, Jesus returned to Nazareth. Pastor Don shared Luke 4:16-30 with us. You can see me taking these notes, I am on the far right in the blue skirt.
Luke 4:14-19 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me; Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.
Pastor Don pointed out that the Scriptures read in the temple were read according to a schedule. Each Scripture was read at a set time of the year. God planned it that Jesus would be reading this Scripture from Isaiah at this particular time. And it was the acceptable year of the LORD.
Luke 4:20-21 Then He closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
At this moment the prophecies of Isaiah which were made 700 years previous to this reading were fulfilled. Had the scribes and pharisees acknowledged the timing, they too would have recognized that now was the time the Messiah would be on earth. But they were not expecting a carpenter. They wanted a warrior king.
Luke 4:22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
They were wondering if anything good could come out of Nazareth. They were thinking, wait a minute, we played games with Him, worked with Him. Knew His “parents.” How could He be the Messiah?
Joseph answered them sharply.
Luke 4:23-27 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum do also here in Your country.'” Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except in Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
(Heather’s note, one thing that always impressed me was, in the Old Testament, only Naaman was healed of leprosy. Yet there are whole chapters in Leviticus that cover the restoration of a leper into a community after his leprosy is cured. I am certain God put those chapters in the Bible so they would be ready for when Jesus was on earth. Leprosy was usually a death sentence, and yet Jesus healed many lepers.)
Jesus knew that there was little faith in Nazareth for Him, and thus He was not able to do but a few small healings.
Luke 4:28-30 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
Jesus was taken to Mt. Precipice, which overlooks the Jezreel Valley.
Mt. Precipice was a day’s journey from Nazareth, and the people had to walk up a huge mountain.
This is from the window of the bus, and although you can’t see it, six feet from the railing is a huge drop off, into the Jezreel Valley.
The mob was pushing Jesus up the mountain, with a plan to cast Him off the edge. The ground was rocky, hard, and rugged as you can see from the picture.
Julie worshipping God. You can see the terrain is rough and rocky, and the rocks were sharp and abrasive.
The Scribes and Pharisees kept asking, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Jesus was the light of the Gentiles, but the Jews did not give Him any respect. The people from that region were multicultural, Aramaic and Hebrew. They could hear Jesus’ accent and knew that it was not the cultured accent of those from the Northern Region. It would have been similar to hearing someone with a deep Southern accent speaking to those who thought that they were superior Northerners.
The Church today does not look at the pedigree of the person. They do not say we are better than them, so they should not be able to join our church. God does not look at a person’s pedigree, He looks at a person’s heart.
But, in the time of Jesus, in the people’s eyes, He was disqualified from being Messiah because of His pedigree. They thought He was not good enough to be Messiah. They wanted the Messiah to be the son of some great Rabbi, not the son of a carpenter (which we know He wasn’t, His father was God). No way this was the Messiah! They decided to kill the Man, they would not support Jesus, and they wanted to stop Him.
But a miracle occurs, he walks through the angry mob. He did not threaten them or stop, just walked through the crowd. This will also happen in Jerusalem when they seek to kill Him before His time. The devil cannot snatch you out before your appointed time. God has us covered, like it states in the 91st Psalm. We are important to God, just like Jesus was important to God. The victory of the Saint is knowing that it is not you, but God. Don’t listen to the devil who tries to tell you that the situation you are in is your Waterloo. God has your back.
My victory does not depend on me, it depends on Whose I am (God).
One sermon, one act can have far reaching results. Pastor Don told us about a man in England who spoke a sermon to one man. This one man then went to Australia and waited where the boats docked and told everyone who got off the boat, “Jesus love you.” He reached many people with that simple message, without realizing how many thousands were touched.
Also there was a young man who went to China, and after many long years of service made one convert. To outward appearances this was not very successful, but that one convert went to Northern China and reached multitudes.
Pastor Don asked us to spend some time on Mt. Precipice praying. While I was praying God showed me that the valley looked like a patchwork quilt.
He showed me we were all parts of a whole, each person had their particular calling and place in the Kingdom. Each one was important and made part of the whole. If one patch was taken out, there would be a hole left needing to be filled. We all are necessary for the whole picture God has planned. It is a lesson that God reminds me about, because so often I am concerned that somehow I am not doing what He wants me to do. Years ago, he gave me a similar message on the reservoir near our home, when I realized how intricate and interlocked creation was, and he reminded me I am part of His creation and that I too fit in my place in creation. God is so good to keep reminding me with what I need to hear.
We spent a lot of time meditating on Mt. Precipice and then spent some time praying for Pastor Ted. Pastor Ted, when he came back from Israel, was starting his own church. And we wanted to pray for his new path. Pastor Don is so encouraging and seeks to build the members up so they can step out into the ministry that God is calling them to. Pastor Don is such a good servant.
Here we are praying for Pastor Ted.
Pastor Don and Pastor Ted after the prayer.
I handed the camera to our tour guide Nurit and she took a picture of us.
I took a picture to get those who were cut out of the first picture. We did have a large group.
We spent so much time on Mt. Precipice we missed getting into the Church of the Annunciation at Nazareth. But, as Pastor Don told Nurit, we were not so concerned about hitting every tourist site, we were more concerned with spending time with God. To be honest with you, I enjoyed the sites that were not so built up with churches. Somehow I felt closer to the Spirit out in the more natural sites.
But we did drive into Nazareth. Remember, Nazareth is controlled by the Palestinians, and to be honest, it is not so holy to them.
The Large white building with the dome is the Church of the Annunciation. This was the road towards it, so we saw it on the outside which was fine with us. Our bus driver, Johnny, was a Palestinian Christian and had a friend in Nazareth that made baklava. We went into his shop and had a variety of baklava that was outrageously good.
There must have been at least nine different varieties. Most of us got one of each and had a sugar high for several days.
We then took our bus to the Golan Heights near the Sea of Galilee and stayed in a Kibbutz resort called Ma’agan. Here are a few pictures of the drive.
It was comforting to know that there was McDonalds. Notice the curly letters, this is a Palestinian sign. We never did eat in any fast food places for which I am glad. The local food was so good.
There was excitement in the air because it was near the feast of Shavuot (which we know as Pentecost) and the fields were ripe for harvest.
Here is the sign on the road toward Ma’agan. You can see the two styles of writing, Hebrew on top and Palestinian below that.
This is one of the walkways at Ma’agan. In the background is the Sea of Galilee.
We had little cabins, and here are some of our people walking to their cabins.
In the evening, after dinner, we met in the lounge and sang worship songs. A woman from Germany joined us and spent some time talking with us.
That Evening I spent a lot of time in prayer because the next day was going to be my baptism in the Jordan. God gave me Haggai 2 during my prayer, and I think I “Haggaied” people to death because every part of my Israel trip fit into Haggai 2. In case you are interested I am including that to close this post.
Chapter 2: The Coming Glory of God’s House
1 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying: 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying: 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? 4 ‘Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the LORD of hosts. 5 ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ 6 “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 ‘and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
The People Are Defiled
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 11 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying, 12 “If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy?” ‘ ” Then the priests answered and said, “No.” 13 And Haggai said, “If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?” So the priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.” 14 Then Haggai answered and said, ” ‘So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.
15 ‘And now, carefully consider from this day forward: from before stone was laid upon stone in the temple of the LORD– 16 ‘since those days, when one came to a heap of twenty ephahs, there were but ten; when one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty baths from the press, there were but twenty. 17 ‘I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says theLORD. 18 ‘Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the LORD s temple was laid–consider it: 19 ‘Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’ “
Zerubbabel Chosen as a Signet
20 And again the word of the LORD came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying,21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying: ‘I will shake heaven and earth. 22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overthrow the chariotsAnd those who ride in them; The horses and their riders shall come down, Every one by the sword of his brother. 23 ‘In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the LORD, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
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