Matthew 14:23

by Impact Church

And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart, to pray; and when the evening was come, He was there alone.

There’s just something about the mountains. Wouldn’t you agree? Whether it’s a whirlwind weekend in the Blue Ridge hills of western North Carolina or a weeklong sabbatical in northern Georgia or visiting friends in the Colorado Rockies, the majestic scenery and the pure air just seem to clear our heads and give us a fresh perspective.

Time and time again in the Scriptures, we see Jesus getting away to the mountains. Granted, they were within walking distance for the Master, but still it was His conscious decision to scale the rocky hillsides – sometimes with his full entourage of disciples, occasionally with only His closest companions, and often alone.

At times, it may have been out of simple practicality: when Jesus was ready to share His longest recorded message, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), the natural amphitheater created by the topography undoubtedly gave the Savior’s voice the ability to carry so that thousands could hear.

But there has to be more than mere acoustics that drew Jesus to the higher elevations. Consider just a few of the momentous events in His life that happened on or around a mountain:

  • The Transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9) when Jesus reveals His glory to his inner circle of Peter, James and John.
  • The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, where Luke specifically records that the King of the Jews rode a colt “at the descent of the Mount of Olives” (Luke 19:37).
  • The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) when the greatest Prophet who ever lived foretells signs of the end times to His disciples.
  • The Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed on the night before His arrest and crucifixion was located on the western slope of the Mount of Olives.
  • The Ascension into heaven was from the Mount of Olives, as confirmed by Luke in Acts 1:9-12.
  • The Second Coming of the Lord when He victoriously returns to earth in triumph over His enemies will be to the Mount of Olives, as foretold by Zechariah 14:1-4.

Yes, there’s definitely something about those hills! Just think about it: The One who created the mountains is Himself referred to in the Word more than a dozen times as the Rock or the cornerstone, the stone that the builders rejected. Daniel’s prophetic vision declares Him to be the stone cut out of the mountain without hands!

Whether it’s a literal trip to higher altitudes or an intentional return to intimate time alone with the Rock of our salvation, why don’t you join us in the next few weeks as we seek a higher perspective on our spiritual journey? Let’s get away from the distractions of social media and the workaday world to focus on our purpose as individual believers and as a church body.

Beware: time in the mountains will cost you something. You may feel out of touch and slightly out of step with the culture around you for a little while. You may even lose a little natural appetite or desire for watching TV or sleeping in late. But gazing at your cares from a different angle – God’s angle – will make all of life’s issues seem smaller.

We invite you to come apart to the mountain with us and (1) look down on your problems, and (2) look up to the Answer. In the beautiful words of the century-old hymn: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace. We couldn’t have said it better!

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