Story from Day 2

Israel Tour 2019

The sunrise this morning revealed the breathtaking Sea of Galilee right behind our hotel. Jesus did the majority of His ministry here - some say as much as 90 percent. We spent our day on the sites surrounding this water.

We're told in Matthew 4:19 Jesus asked fishermen to be his first disciples. He told them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” What do you think it would be like to be Jesus' first recruits to help spread the Gospel? Simon Peter and Andrew dropped their nets to follow Him. James and John followed as well, leaving their father behind on their family boat.

This was also the same beach where the resurrected Christ appeared to his disciples and instructed them to ‘throw their net on the other side of the boat.’ That day, they caught 153 fish in one cast, but even better, they had breakfast on the shore with the resurrected Son of God.

You might remember, the day Jesus was crucified, Peter denied Christ 3 times. Well, on this beach just days later, Jesus restored Peter. Go read about it in John 21:15-17.

As we travel around the Sea of Galilee, we find ourselves in Capernaum. If you were here while Jesus was living in this area, you would have witnessed miracle after miracle. We even saw the site archaeologists believe Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14-15, Mark 1:29-31, Luke 4:38-41). Jesus was a carpenter, but carpenters of this day weren't just skilled in woodworking. Carpenters were considered some of the most intellectual. It's likely Jesus worked all week long on all sorts of projects and then preached in the synagogue to those who would come and listen.

When He was on His way home to Capernaum, Jesus would stop in Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene. Jesus casts out demons from her in Luke 8. One of the most exciting parts of this city today is that archaeologists have just unearthed the synagogue which existed while Jesus was teaching. The stone would have been brilliantly colored from floor to ceiling, including mosaic tile on the ground. Although the stone is no longer colored, you can see exactly where the disciples would have sat to discuss scripture and where Jesus would have read the scrolls and taught the people.

Our next stop was the Mount of Beatitudes. We sat on this mountainside and took some time to read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). It’s hard to explain how surreal it is, to sit in the same spot where the disciples sat, overlooking the same body of water, and reading the exact same words that Jesus spoke to them.

After a lunch of tilapia fished out of the Sea of Galilee, we set sail on this iconic body of water. Jesus walked on the water here. This is where he calmed the storm. Not only is this a breathtaking view, but riding across the sea talking about what Jesus did on these waters is something to remember.

Archaeologists have also found a boat believed to be from Jesus' day. After working carefully and quickly so that the wood would keep from turning to dust, the boat is now preserved. Knowing Jesus could have once sailed in that boat makes it one of the most unique discoveries of the modern day.

Tomorrow we will head north where we will visit Caesarea Philippi and Dan. We also plan to have a baptism service in the Jordan River. Until then... Laylah tov (Goodnight!).

The sunrise this morning revealed the breathtaking Sea of Galilee right behind our hotel. Jesus did the majority of His ministry here - some say as much as 90 percent. We spent our day on the sites surrounding this water.

We're told in Matthew 4:19 Jesus asked fishermen to be his first disciples. He told them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” What do you think it would be like to be Jesus' first recruits to help spread the Gospel? Simon Peter and Andrew dropped their nets to follow Him. James and John followed as well, leaving their father behind on their family boat.

This was also the same beach where the resurrected Christ appeared to his disciples and instructed them to ‘throw their net on the other side of the boat.’ That day, they caught 153 fish in one cast, but even better, they had breakfast on the shore with the resurrected Son of God.

You might remember, the day Jesus was crucified, Peter denied Christ 3 times. Well, on this beach just days later, Jesus restored Peter. Go read about it in John 21:15-17.

As we travel around the Sea of Galilee, we find ourselves in Capernaum. If you were here while Jesus was living in this area, you would have witnessed miracle after miracle. We even saw the site archaeologists believe Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14-15, Mark 1:29-31, Luke 4:38-41). Jesus was a carpenter, but carpenters of this day weren't just skilled in woodworking. Carpenters were considered some of the most intellectual. It's likely Jesus worked all week long on all sorts of projects and then preached in the synagogue to those who would come and listen.

When He was on His way home to Capernaum, Jesus would stop in Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene. Jesus casts out demons from her in Luke 8. One of the most exciting parts of this city today is that archaeologists have just unearthed the synagogue which existed while Jesus was teaching. The stone would have been brilliantly colored from floor to ceiling, including mosaic tile on the ground. Although the stone is no longer colored, you can see exactly where the disciples would have sat to discuss scripture and where Jesus would have read the scrolls and taught the people.

Our next stop was the Mount of Beatitudes. We sat on this mountainside and took some time to read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). It’s hard to explain how surreal it is, to sit in the same spot where the disciples sat, overlooking the same body of water, and reading the exact same words that Jesus spoke to them.

After a lunch of tilapia fished out of the Sea of Galilee, we set sail on this iconic body of water. Jesus walked on the water here. This is where he calmed the storm. Not only is this a breathtaking view, but riding across the sea talking about what Jesus did on these waters is something to remember.

Archaeologists have also found a boat believed to be from Jesus' day. After working carefully and quickly so that the wood would keep from turning to dust, the boat is now preserved. Knowing Jesus could have once sailed in that boat makes it one of the most unique discoveries of the modern day.

Tomorrow we will head north where we will visit Caesarea Philippi and Dan. We also plan to have a baptism service in the Jordan River. Until then... Laylah tov (Goodnight!).