Sunday, March 19, 2017

Day 5 Sunday: Where Jesus Did His Ministry

This Lord's Day we spent most of our time in a concentrated 10 mile area where Jesus did most of His earthly ministry.  Our day began at Nof Ginnosar, the place which houses the ancient first century boat found in the mud in 1986.  It is called the Jesus Boat because it is a perfect example of a fishing boat in Jesus' day.  Could it have belonged to Peter and Andrew or James and John?  Who knows.  But they would have had one like it.  It was so peaceful as we took a ride on the Sea of Galilee.  Kim read the Scriptures about Jesus walking on the water and Dan lead us in some worship.  The boat crew cast a net to show us how they fished in the first century.

From there we drove to the Mount of Beatitudes, site of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and the feeding of the 5000.  I shared from the Scriptures that the essence of how we let our light shine in the world is responding to and handling people opposite of how the rest of the world does.  We gave time for everyone to sit, meditate, pray, and just enjoy envisioning Jesus sitting and teaching.

We next visited Korazim, one of the three cities Jesus cursed.  In these three cities, Korazim, Capernaum, and Bethsaida, Jesus did most of His teaching and miracles.  Yet we find that they were mostly unrepentant.  It was a poor village constructed of basalt or volcanic rock.  The synagogue there contained a perfect example of a bema seat or place where judgement took place and the Scriptures were read from it.  We also saw a large example of a Jesus thorn tree, the type of tree it is believed was used to make the crown of thorns that was placed on Jesus' head during His mocking.

Lunch included St. Peter's fish, a light tilapia fish served with the head on it, for those who were not faint of heart to have their lunch look at them while they ate.  One whole table took alternative offerings of kabob or chicken.

Migdal was our post-lunch stop.  This was the home of Mary Magdala or Miriam of Migdal.  This village was found during the initial excavation for a hotel.  It is the oldest synagogue found in the region.  The town was totally destroyed by the Romans as they crushed the rebellion following the destruction of the Temple.

On our way to Capernaum, we stopped at Tabgha, the place where Jesus made breakfast for the disciples after His resurrection and they had gone back to fishing.  As Pastor Mike said, this is where the first "Men's breakfast" was held.  At Capernaum we saw how different memorial chapels had been built over the tradition-held home of Peter; the fourth century synagogue built on the remains of the black stone synagogue of Jesus' day; and some of the original capitol stones found here.  One inscription included the names of John, and Zebedee, linking this place to the same names found in the Gospels.  We also saw examples of olive and wheat presses.

We ended our day driving around the rest of the lake, stopping briefly at an area most likely to be the place Jesus cast the demons into the pigs (Kursi).  We then went to Yardenit, the baptismal site on the Jordan River where we baptized 8 of our group.  These were not baptisms of salvation, but rather symbolically identifying with Jesus by being baptized in the same river as He was.  It was a blessing to observe.  Here is a link for you to see as well:

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