Your Life Is a City on a Mountain, Not a Hill

Your life may feel like a molehill to you but it’s a mountain to God.

In our competitive world, it’s easy to feel like small potatoes, to think life doesn’t matter. But Jesus looked out at a ragtag gathering of Galilean peasants and called them “the light of the world” and a “city on a hill.” (Matthew 5:14)

Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου. οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη·

It's actually even better. The word translated “hill” (ὄρος, or-os) is almost always translated “mountain.” I think "hill" misses the point. Jesus wasn’t just giving an illustration of something bright. He was pointing to prophecy. 

Mountains are a favorite metaphor of the Old Testament prophets. They foresaw a day when God’s mountain would rise up and eclipse all other mountains. For example, Isaiah 2:2:

Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.

What is the city on the mountain? Jerusalem, of course. But Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. What became of the promise of the city on a mountain?

Strange as it sounds, Jesus said the fulfillment of the prophets’ longing was fulfilled in the motley assortment of nobodies gathered around him. As they followed his teachings, they became the “city on a mountain, which could not be hidden.”

Your life may feel very small. Don’t be fooled. Every time you love, every time you forgive, every time you choose what is right instead of what is easy, you’re no molehill. You are part of a great mountain, what Jesus called the Kingdom of God.

1 Comment

  1. LAURA HOLTZCLAW on August 22, 2018 at 4:25 am

    Just what I needed to read today! Thank you!

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