Archive for November 17th, 2016

Matthew 16:18: The Gates of the Netherworld

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hieronymus Bosch: Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch: Garden of Earthly Delights

There are days in our lives when we question God’s plan, nights when anxiety about the future haunts us. Where do we go when we have no recourse? What do we do when we have no power? On whom to do we call when we have no voice? On what do we rely when we see no clear path?

On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. (NRSV)

Jesus points out that he begins to build his church on the rock of Peter, a man who thrice will deny him and who thrice will proclaim his love for Jesus.

I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. (GNT: Good News Translation)

Jesus tells us that each of us stands on this rock that is Peter, a man who brings together Paul and James, a man who asks God’s counsel and listens to God’s word.

Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (DRA: Douay-Rheims American)

Jesus reminds us that each of us sins and each of us is imperfect, each needs redemption, each is called.

This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. (THE MESSAGE)

Portrait of Hieronymous Bosch (c. 1450-1516)

Portrait of Hieronymous Bosch (c. 1450-1516)

Where do we go when days are dark and nights are endless? Jesus explains that the foundation of our own temple stands on the rock of Peter’s return. Jesus calls us to place our own lives in God’s hands as Peter does, to open our own hearts to the Holy Spirit as Peter does. Jesus wants us to put aside our judging and our fears. Jesus calls us to convert a troubled world with acts of kindness, humility and compassion. Jesus tells us that love is a fortress against the powers of evil. Jesus embraces us and soothes troubled hearts. He calms tempestuous seas. He eases anger, fear and hatred. Jesus saves . . . even against the darkness of Hades.

For the faithful who place all hope in the power of Christ, evil will not prevail.

When we compare varying versions of this verse, the healing, saving power of God’s word brings us consolation and relief. Use the scripture link and the drop-down menus to explore.

For a detailed study of Bosch’s Garden of earthly Delights, click on the image above, or visit: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/renaissance-reformation/northern/hieronymus-bosch/a/bosch-the-garden-of-earthly-delights 

For more on the life of the artist, click on Bosch’s portrait or visit: http://www.hieronymus-bosch.org

For a slide show with full commentary on the painting, or to explore the symbolism and meaning of the images, visit: http://www.esotericbosch.com/Garden.htm

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