I’m originally from the state of Illinois (in the United States), where climbing a mountain takes quite a bit of work, and that’s just to get to a mountain in the first place. In fact, a study (albeit from Kansas University, who may have an ulterior motive for publishing their results) indicates that Illinois is the second-flattest state in the country, based on their math.
However, even for those who live in the mountains, getting up a mountain still usually takes work. Whether you are a practiced mountaineer, a seasoned hiker, or just like to scramble up the side of a hill, effort is required to get up to the top of many ridges and peaks.
As a result, at any given time, I don’t think that there are a lot of people at the top (or even on the sides) of most mountains, and perhaps that was why Jesus went there.
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
Luke 9:28 NIV
With people flocking to see Jesus (in fact, they did so when Jesus and the disciples come down from the mountain – see verse 37), getting to a hard-to-reach place might have been the only location that they could have some peace and quiet.
As is often the case, the context for this passage is important. Luke 9 starts with Jesus sending out the twelve apostles, and Herod’s interest in Jesus. Then, we have the account of Jesus feeding at least 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish.
Later in this chapter, Peter pronounces that Jesus is the Messiah (i.e., the promised, anointed One from God). In verse 21, though, Jesus tells the disciples to not spread this around. He goes on to explain the suffering that he will go through, and the cost of being a disciple.
Then, He says something interesting in verse 27. Depending on how we interpret “the kingdom of God”, this prophecy could become pretty significant, but that’s not the main point of this series of articles.
There’s a lot more about to happen in this account from the Luke’s account of Jesus’ ministry. However, before we get into what happens next, maybe it’s good to pause and reflect on the act of taking time to get away from the chaos that surrounds us.
in today’s busy, noisy, messy world, there are days when we might think that the only time we can get away from it all is to climb a mountain somewhere. Whether that’s our solution, or we find some other hiding place to find quiet time, making sure that we can pray to God without distractions is worth some effort on our part.
As we go through the hustle and bustle of life, I hope that we will make regular time to talk with and listen to God. It might take some work to get away from the noise, or to pull ourselves away from the things that we like, but it will be worth it!
From Sunday School lesson prepared for December 12, 2021
- The Lookout, December 12, 2021 © 2021 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.