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Jerusalem, Going Up To


On the map, Bethlehem and Jerusalem are below or south of Nazareth. When recording the travel of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the text could be “went down from Nazareth.” However, Luke records, “Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem” (Lk 2:4). Bethlehem, that is near Jerusalem, is at a high altitude than Nazareth in Galilee. So, one who travels from the north to the south was climbing up.

Regardless of where one was traveling from, that person would be “going up” to reach Jerusalem. The climbing was especially felt when one was walking on the street that led to Jerusalem. Going up to Jerusalem” has also a spiritual meaning because it was the site of the temple of God, “the Mountain of the Lord’s House.”

According to the prophesies, Jerusalem was the peak of the world from where the Lord’s instruction would come to all nations. “In days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it” (Isa 2:2). “Many nations shall come, and say, ‘Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, that we may walk in his paths.’ For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Mic 4:2).

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