Tuesday Sept. 27- The Galilee!
The day started at 0630 when we watched the sun rise over the Galilee and anticipated what the day would be like. We had a small small area to cover-the area of Jesus ministry. The area made more sense this time and I am learning new details on this trip. Special moments happened on the Worship Boat ride-imagine looking at the land and hills of Galilee and worshipping God in song.
Our guide, Jane, gives us insights about the area with significant details of history and the Bible. Dan gives us inspriational “Selah” moments at most of the sites which challenge us. We went to a beach on the north side of the Sea of Galilee where it may have been the location of Jesus meetng his disciples…and Peter…after the ressurection. Dan calls it Restoration Beach where Peter is brought back into relationship with Jesus.
We went to the top of Mount Arbel and had a panoramic view overlooking all of the Sea of Galilee-WOW.
We had fish…the whole fish…for lunch…see the pictures.
We find the days are full to overwhelming with details and it takes alot of mental energy to keep it all straight.
Over all it is so good to be here together…having laughs until we cry. Morning wake up call is at 0600 so it is time to close off.
We went to the top of Mount Arbel today and as far as you could see were sloping hills (aka. mountains) filled with different cities, crop fields, and stretches of barren land with just a few trees dotting all across, and then right in front you could see most of the Sea of Galilee. Standing up on top looking any direction you could point out places where Jesus ministered and huge points through out the Bible’s history scattered across right before your eyes. We were only up there for a short while but in that time it really hit me how real and alive the Bible is. That each of those cities and places I could see were places that Jesus actually went to and impacted the lives of those around him. Katie and I keep getting asked if Lynda & Larry are our parents or if Brenda & Ralph are so, we have both gained two sets of parents for the next two weeks! Since we are both at least 20 years younger than everyone else on the tour we are definitely a minority but it’s been encouraging to hear all the wisdom the older folk have to share with us!!
All the best,
Another long day with so much to see and absorb. What was my favourite? I would say the Sea of Galilee. The sunrise was spectacular over the calm waters. Following breakfast we went on a boat that went into the middle of the sea where we spent an hour singing and worshipping the Lord. To stand on the bow and look around at the water and the surrounding hills was surreal. To just imagine that Jesus was here and that this was his home was very humbling and moving.
One special place we visited today was along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where it is thought the resurrected Christ ate breakfast with the disciples, recorded in John 21. The place is called Tabgha. Our tour guide explain some interesting facts around this story:
- The population around the shores of Galilee was over 100 K
- The Sea of Galilee had an abundance of fish during that time with over 5000 fishing boats
- The fisherman fished during the night, since their nets were visible during the day
- The fisherman fished not very far from shore, usually 100-200 ft.
- Fisherman often wore nothing but a loin cloth, so when Peter discovers it is the Lord on the shore, he puts on his cloak before jumping in the water for modesty.
- Jn 21:11 says 153 fish were caught. The hebrew alphabet uses letters to represent numbers, so the Bible records the number 153. The Hebrew letters spell, “I am the Lord”
- Named this location ‘Restoration beach’, where Jesus asks Peter 3 times ‘Do you love me’? Jesus restores Peter.
- Peter must have been discouraged, remembering that he denied the Lord.
- Discouragement often causes us to miss out what God intends to do.
- We need to ignore the enemy convincing us that we are failures, but remember truths from God’s word re. our identity in Christ: redeemed, accepted in Him, forgiven, and focus on HIm.
The day started with us walking from our hotel down to the Sea of Galilee. There was a boat waiting for us named Faith. The man who owns the boat is a Christian who leads worship on his boat on the Sea of Galilee.
We get on and he tells us the story of how by a miracle he ends up taking Hillsong’s production team across the lake one day. While on the boat they tell him they are planning to come to Israel to record a new acoustic album. After the ride they mention that they would like to record the song Oceans on that boat on the Sea of Galilee. So they came back and did.
While on our way out to the middle of the lake he plays us the recording that was made on that boat on that lake. Wow! That was amazing.
“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.”
We also did live worship on the Boat. It was soooo good to sing again! Its been like over a week hahaha And on the Sea of Galilee!
One thing that really hit me though as we were out on the lake, (it’s absolutely beautiful! All of the mountains around the lake and the land of Galilee is incredible!) But to think that our Father created all of this land and chose to bless it and gave it to be the home for His beloved people. And then I thought, Jesus loved the Sea of Galilee and spent so much time on the lake. He probably looked at the lake and the mountains and also praised His Father for being the creator of all this land. But Jesus was here for the people. And it’s so sad to see the beautiful land that God has blessed and given to His chosen people, dry and longing for water because the people have rejected Him as their Messiah.
Later we were on top of Mt Arbel and you can see the entire Sea of Galilee from there. I know why Jesus would have gone up to the mountains to pray now.
I wish all of you could be here with us! Blessing in Christ Jesus from the Sea of Galilee in Israel.