Walking in Humility and Power
We are now staying at the Sea of Galilee and this means we have moved out of the desert and we could all tell a difference because we wore pants and or sweatshirts last night. Woah, who knew we could ever not be hot!
Today we began our day by climbing Mnt. Arbel. Only 4 people tripped today compared to the 10 people yesterday so obviously we're getting better at mountain climbing. While on the mountain we first talked about the Kingdom of God and how Jesus was the kingdom of God and He came in humility but will one day come again in power. Once we made it to the top of the mountain Mr. Bell gave a teaching on prayer, because if we're to model Jesus and Jesus prayed in solitude, what better place to pray than on top of a mountain.
Mount Arbel (Hebrew: הר ארבל, Har Arbel) is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Mt. Arbel sits across from Mount Nitai; their cliffs were created as a result of the Jordan Rift Valley and the geological faults that produced the valleys.
For lunch we stopped at a food stand and ate falafel. It was delicious! 10/10 would recommend!
We moved on to Chorazin and here our tour guide, Ronan, spoke a lot about the culture of a village. Specifically about marriage, the community of the town, synagogue and the schooling of the synagogue. We learned the word insula, a Hebrew word meaning community. This community is what the entire city is like. They live together, they eat together, they know each other so well that when one is sad the other is sad, everyone knows each others dreams and the community is so strong. We too should desire to have this community as a body of believes and as the church of Christ.
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.
Next we went to the mountain where the sermon on the mount is traditionally attributed to. We read the entire sermon on the mount while standing there and it was such a powerful moment to proclaim the words that Jesus spoke 2000 years ago in the land that He spoke them in.
Mount of Beatitudes
The so-called “Sermon on the Mount” is recorded in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6. The alleged discrepancy between Matthew’s version being on a hill and Luke’s being on a level place is easily reconciled with observation of many level places on the Galilean hillsides. Scripture gives no indication of the exact location of this event, but the Byzantines built a church to commemorate it at the bottom of the hill. Some of Napoleon’s men placed it on the nearby Arbel mountain.
We finished our day at Capernaum, the place where majority of Jesus' ministry took place. This was a place where we knew that Jesus walked. We walked where Jesus walked!!! While being here we truly have seen that the Bible really does come to life. We have all commented on the fact that we want to read the Bible more now because we understand it better and we now know where the places are.
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.
Thank you for your continued prayers, we really appreciate it. We feel so overwhelmed and blessed to be able to learn and study in Israel and it truly is an experience that has already changed all of our lives.
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