“Seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them” (Matthew 5:1,2).
One of the greatest mountaineering challenges in the world is to scale the Seven Summits. These are the highest mountains on each of the seven continents of the world. It was first achieved on April 30, 1985, by Richard Bass. He conquered Aconcagua in South America, Denali in North America, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Vinson in Antarctica, Kosciuszko in Australia, and Everest in Asia.
But there is debate over which mountains to choose for the Seven Summits by how you define a continent. Different lists of the seven highest peaks include slight variations. For instance, for the continent of Europe some would choose Mont Blanc over Mount Elbrus. The other variation is whether you include all of Oceania or mainland Australia as the continent, which means you would choose Mount Kosciuszko in New South Wales or Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid) in Indonesia.
Jesus loved mountains and once gave His greatest sermon on an un- known summit. It wasn’t a snowy peak piercing the sky, but His message penetrated hearts nonetheless. In the longest recorded sermon Christ gave, the basic principles of Christianity are outlined in the Sermon on the Mount.
As the disciples and a multitude gathered around Jesus to hear His words, they hoped He was about to establish a mighty worldly kingdom that would help them conquer their enemies. But unlike the champions of earth who reach high summits and are awarded worldly riches, Jesus challenged listeners to conquer the human heart. He began by saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
If you would reach the highest levels of Christianity, you must drop down at the feet of Jesus and become a student of the One who created the mountains.
Dear Father, I humbly bow before You, praying that You will lift me up to heavenly places.
For Further Study: Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:17–49; Isaiah 57:15