AWANA Hike Night – Significance of Mountains in the Gospels

This past Wednesday was “hike night” at AWANA.  We do this once a year, normally in the spring.  Our Church is blessed to have a 14 acre property with 2 small mountains (really foothills) behind it.  The views from up there are really spectacular.  Here is the mountain we hiked up:


Here is the same foothill from the street-view:

From there, we could see all the mountains in our city (Ahwatukee):

After we got to the top of the mountain and looked around, we gathered all the 3rd to 6th grade clubbers around to pray.  I told them how Jesus hiked.  At least He must’ve since the Bible talks frequently about Him going up mountains to pray by Himself, to teach or to heal the multitudes, or to teach His disciples and to be transfigured before them.  He appointed His 12 disciples on a mountain (Mark 13:13-15).  He was even arrested at the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:47-57).  In fact the Mount of Olives is very significant in the whole Bible (it is found by name 14 times – most in the Gospels).  The first reference to it by name is in 2 Samuel 15:30, when David was fleeing from Absalom and the Bible says that the Messiah (Jesus) will return to this world again at the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).  At the end of Jesus’ life, He left this world after giving His disciples the great commission from a mountain (Matthew 28:16-20)   Here are the verses in the Gospels where Jesus is described as being on mountains:

Matthew 5:1-2
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying

Matthew 14:23
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone

Matthew 15:29-30
Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.

Matthew 17:1-2
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

Matthew 24:3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Matthew 26:30
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 28:16-20
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said

Mark 3:13-15
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve–designating them apostles –that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

Mark 6:46
After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

Luke 6:12
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

Luke 21:37
Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives

Luke 22:39
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him

John 6:3-5
Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?

John 6:15
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

John 8:1-2
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them

So many significant events happened on mountains in the Bible.  Moses received the 10 commandments on a mountain.  God showed him the Promised Land from a mountain.  Elijah had his show-down with the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel.

We are blessed to live in a village that has mountains we can climb. I’ve even talked our men’s Bible study into having our study next Thursday at the top of the same mountain where the AWANA club hiked to!  We’re going to bring fold-up chairs and when it becomes dark, we will use our smart phone flash lights to read. During our study, I plan to start by reviewing these passages about mountains in the Bible.  It ought to be a great time of communion and fellowship with each other and with our Lord!

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