The village of Ein Kerem (Karem), on the west side of Jerusalem, is according to tradition the birthplace of John the Baptist. Five churches
and monasteries are located around the village: St. John (birthplace of John), Visitation church (named after virgin Mary's visited to the summer
house of John), Russian monastery (AlMoskovia), Greek Orthodox convent of St. John, and the monastery of Notre Dame De Sion.
In earlier periods, the village was a Canaanite site which evolved around the spring that gave its name (Ein Kerem - "the spring of the vineyard").
The site is identified as "Beit Hakerem" from the Israelite period (Jeremiah 6,1): "O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the
midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem".
It is interesting to me that the village was settled around a spring called the Spring of the Vineyard. This reminds me of water being the symbol of
baptism into the material world in John 3. It also reminds me of the parable of the vineyard where workers were paid the same wage for unequal work.
If you connect the two ideas together, you can see the point of the parable in
Matthew 20. The first to enter the vineyard are the ones who are the
last to leave and were unhappy that they had to work the entire day. The workers who were last to enter were only there a short time. At the end of
the parable, Jesus said, " 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
To me, this says two things. First, if we put ourselves first in life by pride, we are last to receive salvation. If we put ourselves last in
humility to God, we are the first to receive salvation. The vineyard is our mortal coil on earth. In John 3, Jesus says that "You must be born
again." He uses two allusions to this--either water birth or rebirth in spirit. Directly after this discussion in John 3 with Nicodemus, Jesus
speaks of baptism. The second thing I see here is that some of us have been been here the entire story, while others have found the payment for their
sins sooner. Either way, "you must be born again." John the Baptist came to prepare the way for union with the spirit of God. How? Luke 10 is the
key. Love God and love others--even enemies. All unions start with love.
edit on 5-11-2011 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)
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