Day Three in the Holy Land
Our morning began on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, one of the world’s greatest locations of beauty.
I can almost imagine during creation how God scooped out this tranquil sea with His pinky finger, thinking of how the Son would enjoy three years of ministry along it’s shores.
Jesus pursued a robust, daily communion with the Father:
“Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone...” (Matthew 14:23)
” One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” (Luke 6:12)
The geography of Galilee has not changed in the past two thousand years. With certainty, scholars have identified Mount Arbel as Jesus’ secret prayer location.
Standing where Jesus had so often spent time with the Father was deeply moving. From the top of Mount Arbel, Jesus could survey His entire mission field. Capernaum, Magdala, the Sea of Galilee... They are all right there.
In the photo above you can see a man-made dome. On just the other side is the location where Jesus fed the 5,000.
Jesus always humbled Himself. He would leave the high places to reach people in the low places.
Jesus demonstrated this every time He came down Mount Arbel. He also showed His love for others after His resurrection outside Jerusalem, when Jesus travelled north to pursue Peter.
After famously denying Christ three times at Jesus’ darkest moments, Peter must have thought he had blown it.
When Jesus’ friends failed Him, He didn’t shame or lecture them. Jesus cooked them breakfast!
“Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee...
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore...” (John 21)
“As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.”
The Dead Sea
Finally we began the southern journey toward the Dead Sea and Jerusalem.
In the photo below, you can see the ancient cliff where Jesus drove a herd of demon-possessed swine into the sea (Mark 5:13, Luke 8:33).
The Dead Sea was amazing.
After being warned not to swallow the water (it could be deadly due to the richness of the think minerals), we all jumped in.
You literally float due to the heaviness of the mineral-rich waters. It is hard to describe what it feels like!