“But whoever drinks from the water I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up for him in eternal life.” John 4:14
Today was all about the water as we traveled from Jerusalem to The Sea of Galilee, had a baptism in the Jordan River, and finished with a view where the prophet Elijah looked for rain. It was emotional for me as we either stood on or drove by the actual places where Jesus preached and performed miracles.
As we began the two hour bus ride from Jerusalem to Galilee, I couldn’t help but imagine how difficult this walk must have been in Jesus’ day. We traveled between the tribal lines of Benjamin and Judah and saw many sites mentioned in the Bible. We went by the Samaritan mountains (where Jesus met the woman at the well and spoke of the living water He offered), the Jezreel Valley (where the battle in the book of Judges between Barak and Sisera took place, not to mention and many other wars), and Cana of Galilee (where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water into wine).
As we came into Galilee, our first stop was the Mount of Beatitudes (Matthew 5) on the north side of the Sea. We had a beautiful view from here, and, once again,we had the privilege of hearing from a Messianic Jewish Pastor.
Here is a picture from the mountain:
After our “sermon on the Mount,” we headed to the coast of the Sea of Galilee where the town of Capernaum is located. This town, noted as the home of Jesus in scripture (Mark 2:1), was also the home of His disciple Peter. Jesus performed many miracles and preached many sermons in Capernaum . Some of the miracles here included the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Matt 8:15), the paralytic man (Mark 2:3-5), and the servant of the Roman officer (Matt. 8:13).
The following two pictures are of Peter’s house and the remains of a 4th century synagogue which was built directly on top of the synagogue Jesus preached many times.
Next on our our agenda was a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where we had live worship music as we saw the different towns around the Sea. We also read the scripture of Jesus walking on the water and Peter stepping out in faith to Him. Our focus wasn’t on Peter’s fear after stepping on the water. Instead, we focused on the fact he actually got out. Our pastor challenged us to “step out in faith” to whatever God is calling us to do. After all, don’t you think the disciples were thinking “man, I wish I would have done that?!” 🙂
Here was our view from the boat (incidentally, the mountain you see is where Jesus fed the 5000):
The afternoon began with the most amazing experience I’ve ever had – baptism alongside Allen in the Jordan River. The last time I was baptized I was 8 years old, not really understanding what baptism meant. Today, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I stepped into the water where John the Baptist immersed Jesus Himself.
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. As soon as he came up out of the water, he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.'” Mark 1:9-11
Here are some pictures from the Jordan River:
As we ended our day and began our journey back to Jerusalem, we had one more stop at the Mount of Carmel. We were able to hear from the pastor at the synagogue here who, by the grace and provision of God, was able to plant the synagogue at the top of the mountain.
The Mount of Carmel is where the prophet Elijah discredited the 450 false prophets of Baal. It is also where the Lord had Elijah look for a rain cloud after the long drought in Israel (1 Kings 18). The ending of our day, seen in the picture below, shows where Elijah’s servant looked for that rain cloud. In the picture, we are standing on the top of the Mount of Carmel looking towards the Mediterranean Sea.
The only appropriate way I feel I can end this post is in a prayer to God. Thank you for reading and for journeying with me!