Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Israel - Nazareth and Galilee | TRAVEL

Just as day one had began, day two started bright and early overlooking the ocean from our hotel. Today our tour was the Biblical Highlights of Galilee! Once we had picked up everyone in the small bus we began the drive towards our first stop; Nazareth. Nazareth is know in the bible as the town where Jesus grew up. Just as Jerusalem is, Nazareth is situated on top of hill about 320 metres above sea level. While here we visited 2 churches; The Church of Annunciation and St Joseph's Church. The Church of Annunciation is the largest Catholic church in the Middle East and is believed to be built on the home of Mary. It is also where the angel Gabriel appeared to her to tell her she was going to have a baby named Jesus - The Son of God. The front door of the church shows and tells of major events in Jesus' life. Inside it is simple but decorated with beautiful stained glass windows. Downstairs is the grotto of the Annunciation. This contains the remains of a house believed to be Marys childhood home. The walls of the upper level are covered with mosaics of many different countries depictions of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. There are also mosaics in the courtyard of the church. St Joseph's Church is only a short walk away and is significantly smaller but just as admirable.

We continued on to our next stop of the day; Capharnaum. Capharnaum was a fishing village along the Sea of Galilee. It is known for being the hometown of Simon Peter, one of Jesus' Disciples. It is also the town in the bible where Jesus performed a great deal of miracles that are noted throughout the gospels, such as, healing the man with an unclean spirit (Luke 4:31-36), healing a servant close to death (Luke 7:1-10), healing Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15) where Jesus calmed the winds and sea after the disciples were scared (Matthew 8:23-26), where Jesus heals a paralytic (Matthew 9:1-8) and where Jesus raised from the dead a young girl (Matthew 9:18-26). Today it is full of ruins from the ancient civilisation. Excavation has revealed a late 4th century AD synagogue which they have named the 'White Synagogue" after the white stones used for its construction. It is among one of the oldest synagogues in the world. The building consists of four parts: the praying hall, the western patio, a southern balustrade and a small room at the northwest of the building. The praying hall faces towards Jerusalem which is how it had been identified as a synagogue. One of the ruins in Capharnaum is concluded to be the house of Peter. Two memorial churches have been built over the ruins as preservation. 

Before lunch we stopped in Tabgha, another seaside village along the Sea of Galilee. Tabgha once again is another significant town in the bible; it is the site where Jesus fed the 5000 (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44). Other biblical events that took place in Tabgha include; the calling of the first apostles (Mark 1:16-20), the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:1), healing of the leper (Matthew 8:1-4) Jesus walking on water (Mark 6:45-52), meeting with Peter and his companions after the resurrection (John 21:1), the last appearance of Jesus in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20).

After we had our lunch we hit the road again for our final stop of the day; Yardenjt - The Jordan River.
'At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, He was Heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased."' Mark 1:9-11.
The Jordan River is a site visited by Christians all over the world, many of whom wish to be baptized in the same location as Jesus. The river runs from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea in Palestine and is the longest river in Israel. With such a spiritual significance I feel so lucky to have been able to visit such a beautiful location.

We arrived back into Tel Aviv early so we decided to have dinner on the beach watching the sunset. A peaceful end to a wonderful day.

To be continued...

Thank you for reading!

God Bless,
Amber x
Post a Comment

Blog Design by Get Polished