Israel Update #2
Today (Friday) was "Jesus Day." We spent the whole day skirting around the Sea of Galilee, which is surprisingly small. The northern edge is where Jesus did most if his ministry. Everything from the Sermon on the Mount to the feeding if the 5,000 is within maybe a 10 mile radius; it is really amazing. Many of the sites today was just seeing the ruins of the towns where Jesus ministered so it lacked the precision of Caesarea in regards to exact spots, but it more than made up for it when it came to the sheer volume of the connections we made. This picture is the church that has been built next to the ruins of Capernaum. Thatmeans this church sits next to Jesus' number one city!!! In fact, the church itself is built to commemorate the events of John 21, which tradition says took place on that spot. Who knows if it did, but it's likely really close if it's not exactly right.
I knew this trip would be helpful to give the Bible more depth and here's a great example of how that happened today. As we drove along the Sea we passed by the city of Tiberius. As we passed, the guide pointed out a cemetery that had both modern and ancient graves. The problem is this cemetery was placed within the ancient city walls (which are no longer standing) -- that's a no-no for Jews. Because of the cemetery, all the religious Jews of ancient times moved out. Not surprisingly, Tiberius is about the only city in the area that Jesus never visited. The gospels mention that people from Tiberius came out to see him but he never entered it. His first priority in ministry was to call Israel back to God and there simply was no Jewish religious life there. We didn't even get out of the bus to make that connection! That has happened plenty and I'm afraid I will forget several of those little nuggets. There's just to many. (Leaving the airport the other day our guide mentioned that the drainage ditch we were driving by was the region where God made the sun stand still for Joshua!)
The weather was brutal today. Massive winds, cold, and rain. It wore all of is down I think; I know it did me. Anyway, I am enjoying myself but I would dearly love to see the sun. We will be in Jordan all day tomorrow and we'll spend tomorrow night (Saturday) again here, in what was Genessarat. And then Sunday night we'll be staying at the Dead Sea!
Thanks for your prayers!