The Teaching Steps

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 119:133 – Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. (NASB)

Psalm 18:36 – You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped. (NASB)

In November of last year, I had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land, along with my daughter and several others from my church. It was an amazing experience to walk the same ancient paths that Jesus walked and to see a number of interesting archaeological parks and museums throughout our ten-day pilgrimage. At the end of our journey, we had the chance to express our thoughts and to share what we found most meaningful.

Personally, it was overwhelming to see places associated with Jesus' suffering, such as the Garden of Gethsemane and the Via Dolorosa. Still, every site had a specific impact on my understanding of the Scriptures, in particular, the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount. There we sat on the original stairs, across from the Mount of Olives, listening to our pastor preach a mini-sermon.

Yet, it wasn't until I returned home and did some research that I began to appreciate the significance of the Southern Steps. They are also called the "Teaching Steps" because rabbis, including Jesus, may have used this area as a platform for preaching to the crowds.

Additionally, these steps were intentionally rough and uneven, with an alternating layout of narrow and wide steps. So, what was the purpose for an irregular stairway? Some believe that Jewish pilgrims sang the fifteen Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) on the fifteen wide steps on their way up to the house of God. Others have suggested that this design forced the multitudes to pay attention to where they were going, thus preventing a hurried approach to the temple. This idea makes sense, but more importantly, it illustrates a great spiritual lesson for us today. Therefore, what insights can we glean for our own lives? What do the Teaching Steps teach us?

Questions to ponder may include:

  • How can we apply this teaching to our personal relationship with the Lord?
  • In what ways should we watch our step in approaching God's throne of grace?
  • How does prayer, Bible study, and Sunday worship lead us a step closer to Christ?

Prayer: Lord, according to Your Word, guide our steps and lead us in the way that we should go. In Jesus' holy name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen to your prayer.

    Excellent message, hit home.

    Thanks for sharing, Lori. I’m sure it was an amazing experience.

    Lori, this is so inspirational and just what I needed today. Thank you.

    Yes! Thank you, Lori, for sharing this devotional teaching with us. Blessings.

    Thanks for a good and interesting word today Lori.

    Thank you, Lori, for these insights. I’m going there soon and hope to learn much!

    Wow!! Excellent devotional. Learned a few things, thanks. God bless Lori, really a good one.

    Dear Lori,
    Your devotion has inspired me to do my own study about “steps”, to enrich my understanding, to apply to my life. I appreciate your devotion.

    Dear Lori,
    Praise God you were able to visit the Holy Land and had such a memorable time. Thank you for sharing with us readers what you gleaned from the Temple Mount steps, very interesting and thought provoking.

    Hi Lori,
    Your devotional reflects the fact that this trip made an amazing impact on you. The description you expressed this morning gave even more insight. Thank you. Praying that each day is a blessing for you and Lou.

    It was great reading your devotion today. I am too old to travel any more but enjoyed your account of your trip. It must really be inspiring to be in the footsteps of Jesus. Thanks for your message.
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Hi Lori.
    Thank you for teaching us about the Southern Steps. I am visualizing Jesus with His disciples and others there right now. I am so happy you were able to visit the places where Jesus walked and taught.
    I hope you are all well.

    Your message today reminds me of a hymn we used to sing in our former church.
    One more step along the world I go, One more step along the world I go,
    From the old things to the new, Keep me travelling along with you.
    And its from the old I travel to the new, Keep me travelling along with you.

    Hi Lori,
    We visited the Holy Land as well, also with a group of Christians, led by a pastor. We saw the sights that most Christian tourists would see and the place which gave me the deepest Emotional feelings was the visit to the Garden Tomb, where some scholars figure Jesus was actually buried.
    Thank you for writing your experiences. It brought back good memories.

    Lori, Thank you for this beautifully written devotional.
    Thank you for teaching me so much about things I never knew.

    Hi Lori. It is so nice to read this today.
    It must have really been amazing to you and your daughter to see where Jesus walked. Glad you got to go on this trip together.
    You and yours all are always in my prayers and thoughts.

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