Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lower Galilee and Nazareth

The view of the Sea of Galilee from our room
Millers on the Sea of Galilee
Today was one where we were seeing the ministry of Jesus in just about every place we went.  We started the day with a visit to the Jordan River, and while we know it may not have been the site of his baptism, it is one of the few spots where you see enough water to baptize in that river--the old gospel songs talking about the "mighty Jordan" were obviously written by people who had never seen it.  Yet it was a defining border for the land and a place Jesus must often have seen.  He also spent a lot of time in our next site--the Sea of Galilee itself.  We had a beautiful hour on the water reflecting on some of Jesus trips from the very spot we left and returned.  We had the added blessing of a Messianic Jewish boat captain who led us in singing praise and worship songs after our Bible study.  Following our return we saw a boat recovered from the shoreline of the Galilee that came from the time of Jesus and his disciples--we saw what their boats must have looked like.  And then we visited the traditional sites of the Sermon on the Mount and the feeding of the five thousand.  And finally we ended our morning with a visit to Capernaum--Jesus' adult home and site of so many of the events of the gospels.

Even our lunch had a biblical flair, as we went to a restaurant run by a former fisherman who served us St. Peter's fish--the staple fish that comes from the Sea of Galilee.  I don't know if the disciples had it with garlic sauce, but it was excellent!  It was quite the experience for us all.

Seeing some of the recovered artifacts from Capernaum
After lunch, we traveled to Nazareth, where we viewed the much-changed city of Jesus childhood.  Nothing is the same, and we used a nearby hill to view the city and see a better representation of what the scene must have been when his hometown was ready to kill him (Luke 4).  Then we got a much better view, as we went to the Nazareth YMCA and saw their "Nazareth Village" a recreation of life as it was in the 1st century.  What an informative and helpful stop.  Run by Arab Christians, we had the chance to consider not just the stones of the past, but consider Jesus' living stones--his followers--as they shared with us the story of the Savior's life as a child.

An amazing and full day, and now we move into our final leg of the journey as we travel tomorrow through the center of the country and end up in Jerusalem.
Nathan and his St. Peter's fish!
Jerry at the salad bar!