The Mount of Temptation (Jesus: His Story In Stone, Chapter 11)

The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. –Mt 4:8

It looks like a little train hugging the cliff face, but actually that’s a monastery way up there, to which one can travel by cable car. Tradition holds that Christ’s forty days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness took place on this mountain, called Quarantal (from quarantena meaning forty).

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Bed of Stone (Chapter 8 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. –Isaiah 19:19

Jacob used a stone for a pillow; Jesus used a stone for a bed. We’ve seen the sort of stone manger in which He likely was laid as an infant. Later on, during the Holy Family’s sojourn in Egypt, it is believed they spent six months living in a cave near Mount Qussqam, during which time the Christ child slept on a bed of stone.

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Corban (Chapter 6 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem … to offer a sacrifice in keeping with the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” –Luke 2:22-4

The accompanying photographs show two different views of the rounded shard of a first century stone vessel discovered on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The shard bears a crude inscription of two upside down (presumably dead) birds along with the Aramaic word corban, meaning sacrifice.

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The Presentation (Chapter 5 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. (Luke 2:22)

Six weeks after Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary walked the six miles from Bethlehem to Jerusalem for the ceremony of Presentation. Pictured in the photograph are the very steps they would have ascended with their newborn son in order to enter the Temple. Later, as a twelve-year boy and then as a man, Jesus would ascend these same steps under His own strength.

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A Stone Manger (Chapter 4 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

“You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)

A manger is a feed trough for animals. The word is related to the French manger, to eat. If you were to attend a French-speaking eucharistic service, as the priest or minister placed the morsel of bread in your hands he would say, “Prenez, mangez.” Take, eat.

The name Bethlehem means House of Bread.

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