Day of Discovery
Today has been incredible. It is so amazing that we are walking in the places where Jesus, David, Peter, Phillip, and many others whom we know from Scripture walked. We can no longer read names of things and just skip over them. We are beginning to have images in our minds about what this all looked like. We can understand that when Jesus says “Cast your net on the other side” he is making a cultural statement about the Decapolis or “other side.” I think it is safe to say that most of us are simply in awe of what God has done, is doing, and will do through this experience!
We began by walking where Pope John Paul II walked on his visit to this area. First, we talked about the different areas in Galilee such as the Orthodox Triangle, the Decapolis, and Tiberius. Then, we saw how the farming of olive trees gives us a glimpse into who Jesus is.
The walk ended at the gate of Capernaum. We had a beautiful talk about the kingdom of God and where we see and desire to see the kingdom of God. Then we saw the foundation of the synagogue in which Jesus taught, healed, and cast out demons. Wow! For me, that was when it all set in. We were walking in the place where Jesus did these things! We wrapped up in Capernaum at Peter’s house where archaeologists found many utensils and items used in fishing.
Jesus made Capernaum his home during the years of his ministry: “Leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum” (Matt 4:13).
Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen living in the village. Matthew the tax collector also dwelt here.
Capernaum is one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith.
After some great falafel (kind of like hushpuppies), we went to Korazin. Here we discussed the communal living in insulas and the marriage language from these communities that Jesus used in talking about our relationship to Him like “in my Father’s house there are many rooms” and “cup of the new covenant.” Adding these cultural details to our understanding really helps us to imagine and understand Jesus' communicating and teaching 2,000 years ago!
We wrapped up the day at Bethsaida. First, we saw where five of the apostles probably grew up. Who knew what God would do through them? Finally, we had the amazing opportunity to walk through a Davidic gate (10th Century BC!) where David walked! Within the last 2 years, archaeologists have discovered that this gate belongs to the capital city of Geshur, and David married the daughter of the king of Geshur, so we can conclude that David visited this city and walked through its gates! These finds are extraordinary because they further show the world and us that what we have believed all along is true!
God is good! Thank you so much for your prayers while we are on this journey!
by Brian Gunter
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