October 22, 2014
Starting out today, Wed Oct 22nd, a beautiful and windy day on the Sea of Galilee, we are filled with expectation of walking where Jesus walked and taught. Following breakfast, we boarded our bus and headed out passing through Tiberias where we learned Ronen is launching his mayoral campaign and thinks he can improve the city! Think your theme song is almost there Ronen!
http://www.bibleplaces.com/seagalilee.htmThe Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River, rainfall and springs on the northern side. More properly designated a lake, the Kinneret (the OT and modern name) is 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. At its deepest point the lake is only 150 feet deep. The rabbis said of it, "Although God has created seven seas, yet He has chosen this one as His special delight."
Hiking to Mt Arbel provided us with an incredible view of the triangle towns where Jesus taught. Rich encouraged us all to spend time alone with God just as Jesus did. Looking over the Sea of Galilee reminds me of how refreshed we feel when we go to the “Living Water”.
The Arbel Cliffs hang over the sea of Galilee, and its natural caves were used as shelters for rebels against Herod, fortress during the revolt against the Romans and was fortified again in later periods. The ruins of a Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine villages lie below the cliffs and on its south-western side.
At Chorizan we saw ruins of a community synagogue due to a major earthquake where Rich reminded us how important community is. Today’s culture is so much about self-focus but the body of Christ is about family that laughs and cries together. Christ calls us to more than just ourselves.
The synagogue at Chorazin is a typical "Galilean" style synagogue. These synagogues are characterized by 1) a basilical shape with three hallways separated by two rows of pillars; 2) three doorways and the central one is the largest; 3) benches around the interior walls; 4) a stylobate to support the weight of the arches.
Reflection from Jack and Anne Belton – “what stood out to me was how Jesus taught about community and how important it was. Heaven is community. Christ is preparing heaven for His bride and when the Father tells Him, it’s time, Jesus will come for us. Interesting to think of John the Baptist as the best man!”
In Tabgha Pastor Doug spoke of how many events happened in Jesus’ ministry with His disciples. The illustration in scripture in John 21 where Jesus asks Peter three times if he loved Him reminds us of how He invites us to come back to Him without condemnation. While listening to Doug, I kept hearing the water lapping on the shore and how soothing that sound is. Just as the Living Water is balm to our hearts.
Two miles west of Capernaum is what Josephus referred to as the "well of Capernaum." Undoubtedly a popular fishing spot of the locals because of its famous "seven springs," Heptapegon (today the name has been corrupted to Tabgha) is the traditional location for several episodes in Jesus' ministry.
After Ronen treated us to a favorite local fast food – filafels in Magdala, we headed to Capernaum which is actually an archaelogical site and not a city. The most impressive was seeing the synagogue where Jesus taught for the first time that He was indeed the bread of life. Are we satisfied with “just enough” or do we want our “daily bread” and sustainer of life?
Last stop of the day was at Mt of Beatitudes or Areamos Topos where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. Pastor Doug taught on the Beatitudes that actually outlines for us an attitude check.
Long day but filled with much reflection on where our Savior walked and taught.
He stepped way out of his comfort zone today, to deliver 3 consecutive teachings from God's word. Feeding his flock in a powerful way! So much so that one of our guides who has heard many a men speak at these sites, simply say "He was the best". Proud to call you my pastor good sir... #oaksisrael #Godisgood #theLordshouldbeyourmotivation #andgetalltheglory