We awoke to a beautiful day on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Ma’agan Eden Holiday Village is our host and it is a beautiful resort near the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee.
Our first stop was Bet Shean, an excavated and rebuilt Roman city, complete with all the things you expect to see in an ancient Roman city: theater, bath houses, north-south cardo, etc.
Traveling back to the north, we made our way up the west side of the Sea of Galilee. First stop: Magdala, the city of Mary Magdalene, and home of a 1st century synagogue in which we know for certain Jesus would have taught.
Inside is a beautiful mural of the woman touching the hem of Jesus’ garmant… a very moving place.
Traveling just a few miles north, we came to Nof Ginosar, home of the Jesus Boat, an authentic fishing boat from Jesus’ time. The story of it’s discovery and restoration is miraculous. We don’t know for certain Jesus was ever in that particular boat, but He was often in boats just like that one.
Tabgha was our next stop…and one of my all-time favorite places. Upon these shores Jesus instructed His disciples to cast nets on the other side of the boat, as these experienced fishermen had fished all night and caught nothing. Upon doing so, they caught so many fish it tore the nets and they could hardly haul them in. He then prepared breakfast for them, right there on the seashore.
Also, after denying Jesus three times after His arrest, Peter was restored three times by Jesus on the shores of Tabgha when Jesus asked him, “Peter, do you love me?”
After St Peter’s fish lunch, we journeyed to Capernaum, the seat of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee. There, we know Jesus spent a good deal of time teaching in the synagogue, healing people and ministering in and around the home of Peter’s family.
A trip to Israel is not complete without a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee! Because of the timing, we spent time in prayer for Pastor Saleem Shalash (see yesterday’s post), celebrated with the Israeli captain and his crew as they raised the flags and played the anthems of the US and Israel, then heard a very moving message from Pastor John regarding Jesus calming the storms of our lives, as He calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Upon return to our hotel, we had a very special time at the private beach of our resort, bearing witness to those in our group who chose to be baptized while here in Israel. It was a sweet time of rejoicing.
Our long day ended with a teaching we did not have time to deliver at Capernaum. Pastor John taught from the account of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment (Luke 8:43-48), then, using his talit, demonstrated how we are covered under the wings of our Lord.
Seemingly, it becomes the mantra each day: “Wow! That was the best day ever!” The group is so excited, so attentive, and so “into” all the Lord is doing. We are having an incredibly sweet time together, as the Lord provides more than we can ask or imagine! I hope you are blessed as you follow us!
For now, shalom from Israel!