Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Day By The Sea

Today was our day to tour around the Sea of Galilee, the area where Jesus spent most of His time in ministry while on earth.  We began at Nof Ginosar, the place where they display the first century boat that was discovered in the mud in 1986.  Then came the boat ride on the lake.  We experienced tears, joy, worship, Pastor Marty talking about Peter's walk on the water to Jesus, and calm silence, all in one short boat trip.  It was powerful. 

From there we drove to Korazin, one of three cities that Jesus cursed because they failed to acknowledge Him as Messiah.  The ancient synagogue and ritual bath (mikvah) made it seem like this was strongly religious Jewish town in Jesus' day.  But there was evidence of compromise as their decorative stones included Medusas.

The Mt. Of Beatitudes, where Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, was our next stop.  We could picture 10,000 to 15,000 people from the surrounding area sitting and listening to the Master teach.  After briefly studying part of that Sermon, we walked the quiet garden areas.

For the brave of heart, St. Peter's Fish served as our lunch.  As Jesus was teaching on paying the Temple tax, even though the son should be exempt, He sent Peter to the lake to catch a fish, and in its mouth was a coin which would pay the tax for both Peter and Jesus.

Capernaum was our next stop.  This was Jesus' town, meaning He carried out His three years of ministry from here.  He healed Peter's mother-in-law here.  He called the apostles here.  He did miracles in this town.  You could feel that we were truly walking a place where Jesus walked.

 We closed out our day at the new excavation happening at Migdal or Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene.  The first century synagogue along with the shops and houses excavated so far indicate this was a Jewish town, not a mixed town as some believe.  It was a joy to walk through and realize that Jesus can free us from our demons as much as He did Mary.  The town sits right at the base of Mt. Arbel.

A good night's rest will prepare us for our climb up the Golan Heights tomorrow.


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