Our next stop was the Mount of Beatitudes where we, of course, studied the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. The church and the grounds are stunning. They have lots of little areas that groups can reserve for teaching or study and these areas were full of guests when we arrived. The mount overlooks both the Sea of Galilee and the Plain of Gennesaret, an area that’s famed for its fertility.
The mountain is topped by a Catholic chapel built in 1939 by the Franciscan Sisters with the support of the Italian ruler Mussolini.
David Arthur provided our teaching. Of course, the text was Matthew 5.
I especially liked a point he made about our identity in Christ in verses 13-15. His question was: how does the salt become tasteless? Salt does not change its chemical makeup. The salt becomes tasteless when it becomes diluted by other seasonings and flavors. So…are we as Christians the salt of the earth or has our witness been diluted by our worldliness? Can someone who doesn’t know us tell that we are different or do we look and act like those who don’t have the relationship with Jesus that we have? Something to think about…
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
We were able to eat here on the site. The nuns provided our lunch. We had delicious hummus and bread for appetizers, spaghetti, salad, and fresh dates for dessert.