Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Travel Log: Israel: Jesus Sites

Ok ok ok. I have collected my thoughts and have a few ideas for how to capture my trip to Israel. One of the main reasons that I went was to see Biblical sites, more specifically places that have something to do with Jesus' life and ministry. I simply wanted to be able to put visuals around all the places I read about in the Bible and add greater depth to my understanding. Given this fact, we started in the northern part of the country around the Sea of Galilee:
Around the Sea of Galilee was where much of Jesus' life and ministry took place. It's more like a lake than a sea, today anyhow. He was baptized near here in the Jordan River:
It also seemed "smaller" than I imagined, but I think maybe it's bigger at some other points, and maybe also it was wider during Biblical times. But it was still SO COOL to see. Yes I stood in the water. And yes you can get baptized there. Pretty rockin.

One of the sweetest moments during the trip was at the Mt. of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7):
It was relatively quiet, and there was loads of space so we were able to find a little place to be relatively alone and sit and read Matthew 5-7 aloud. Oh it was so sweet to be reading Jesus words from the very spot He spoke them! I imagine the multitudes- hundreds, maybe thousands of people- gathered along the mountain and Jesus speaking to them. Wow.

Then we were off to nearby Capernaum, the town from which Jesus called some of the disciples, where Peter lived, and where Jesus went to synagogue. No one actually lives here anymore, it's completely a town of ruins. My favorite was the synagogue:

Also in the north we went to Nazareth to see the place where the angel appeared to Mary. This place was unique among the churches we saw, as it was built fairly recently (1969), so it was quite modern, unlike most of the many centuries old churches we saw. It was also one of the few Catholic churches- many were Greek or Russian Orthodox or had blends from various Christian denominations.

Though most of my "favorite" moments and places relating to Jesus were in the north, I did quite like seeing the Upper Room, ie the room where Jesus and the disciples had the Last Supper. As in other places, we read the related scripture while there, and the image of the room is so imprinted on my mind that now whenever we take communion all I can picture is sitting there. I'm still kind of in awe about it all.
I know you're thinking that I'm quite obviously missing places like Bethlehem and the Crucifixion Site and Tomb. But I will write about them in another entry because I have a lot to say regarding those, and this post is already quite long.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi liz
I am from india...found ur page...nice photos..i always wanted to go israel...hoping one day i too will have my snaps :)

take care