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Jerusalem is on a high mountain plateau approximately 2,500 feet above sea level between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. Abraham met Melchizedek, the king of Salem here (Gen 14:14- 24). God had asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on that mountain called Moriah (Gen 22:2). Though Joshua had assigned that high region to the tribe of Benjamin, they did not capture it (Josh 18:28). King David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of his kingdom. King Solomon built the Temple here.

The enemies had surrounded Jerusalem previously and destroyed it twice. The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the first Temple that Solomon built. Its commissioning was in the 10th century BC, and its destruction happened in 587 BC. Jeremiah had warned the Israelites about its fall. Similarly, Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple Herod rebuilt.

After the ascension of Jesus, the Jews revolted against Roman rule. Revolutionaries like the zealots led the uprising. As a reaction to the insurrection against Rome, the Roman army, under the leadership of Titus Vespasian, attacked Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Jerusalem is a Biblically significant area.

1. Melchizedek, “a priest of God Most High” was also the king of Salem, which is Jerusalem (Gen 14:18).

2. God had asked Abram to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, which was later known as Jerusalem (Gen 22:1-14; 2 Chr 3:1).

3. Isaiah prophesied Jerusalem as the site for the temple of God. “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 towards it” (Isa 2:2).

4. While the Israelites settled in Canaan, King David conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of his kingdom. Though that area was assigned to the tribe of Benjamin, they had not conquered it (Josh 18:28). King Solomon built the Temple there.

5. As per prophecy, the Jewish scholars and Jesus preached from Jerusalem. “For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Mic 4:2).

6. Joseph and Mary presented the Infant Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2:22) and brought him to the Temple each year for the Passover (Lk 2:41).

7. Jesus was lost and found in the Temple when he was 12 years old (Lk 2:41-50).

8. He took part in the major feasts of the Temple, preached there, and performed miracles.

9. Jesus was sentenced, tortured, crucified, and buried here. On the third day, he rose from the dead here.

10. According to Jesus, “Repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Lk 24:47).

11. Peter and John healed a crippled beggar at the temple area (Acts 3:1-10).

12. Peter preached in Jerusalem and the Sanhedrin questioned Peter and John there (Acts 4:5-22).

Jerusalem was the capital of the united Israel and later of Judaea. The Temple was located there. The presence of the elite Jews, especially the Sanhedrin, was a hurdle for Jesus because he challenged their corruption and the undue importance they gave to the man-made traditions that were inconsistent with the genuine spirit of the precepts given by God through Moses. Even people from Jerusalem came to Galilee listen to Jesus (Mk 3:8). They had to travel around 150 km from Jerusalem to reach Capernaum.




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