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Teaching about the Land is

Teaching about the Land is conspicuous by its absence in the teaching of Jesus. There are four or five explicit references to the Land in the Gospels and these are indirect. The strongest is found in the Beatitudes. In Matthew 5:5 Jesus quotes from Psalm 37:11. The blessing of the meek and the inheritance of the land as described in the Psalms is echoed by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. Yet it is not the Land but the earth that they will inherit. The Greek term for earth here is the same word used in the Septuagint for land yet the context of Jesus Beatitudes requires that the perspective be stretched beyond mere possession of Palestine. Either that or all Christians who live by the Sermon on the Mount possess the land of the Bible by their meekness. Since the Land was such a fundamental part of Judaism at the time of Christ, his silence can only have been deliberate. Jesus of Nazareth, who proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord only to die accursed on a cross and so pollute the land, and by that act and its consequences to shatter the geographic dimension of the religion of his fathers. Like everything else, the Land also in the New testament drives us to ponder the mystery of Jesus, the Christ, who by his cross and resurrection broke not only the bonds of death for early Christians but also the bonds of the land. (W.D. Davies)

Stephen Sizer

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