Excursus: The Land of Jesus in the Contemporary Lens
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land" (Mt 5:5)
A. As we have seen in the last session that terretoriality is very important to ouer study of the Biblical text. Biblical text is borne out of a certain space and time. Geopgraphy shapes theological and spiritual worldviews and mental constructs.
In this session we will take a look on snapshops on the land of Jesus in our time and do some reflections.
Take note on the environment of these spaces (the southern part of Israel, the middle, and the northern part of Israel) as they may be significant in the shaping of the theological and spiritual message of the Biblical text.
1. The striking contrasts are noticeable among the spaces presented. While the southern part of Israel is dry, arrid and desert land, the northern part of Israel in is fertile land with much presence of water and greens to easily support life.
2. There is so much contrast between “desert” spirituality and “fertile land” spirituality. The first one may be charactirized by struggle, pain, hunger, thirst, difficult choices, urgency, survival, uncertainty, doubts, among others. But it may also register a strong call to trust to the Powerful One and strict adherence to the call of fedility to the covenant as the case of the Israelites in the Old Testament.
3. While on the other hand, the northern part of Israel where there is “abundnce in possibilities of life”, spirituality in this context is more expansive, more considerate; there is more emphasis in joy and fullness rather than excessive insistence on fulfilling the laws and traditions. These traits are found in the the teachings and parables of Jesus and in his dealings with the pablicans and sinners on the one hand, and pharissees and other religious grous on the other hand.
We will explore more on this idea when we start to handle the Biblical text in the later sessions.
Coming up next:
Locating ourselves in the Biblical time: history