Monday, February 18, 2013

Israel Experience (Day 4)

Today we traveled to the Sea of Galilee.  Locals call it Lake Tiberias and it was also called Lake Genesaret.  It's a popular vacation spot for locals...much like Myrtle Beach is for many of us.  It was over a two hour drive from where we were in Bethlehem.

We went through Tiberias and on to the place where there’s a museum of a boat they found 20 years ago that is an original fishing boat from the 1st Century.  It’s called the Jesus boat.  It would have been the same type of boat Jesus and the disciples used.  

After we learned about the boat we took a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee.  It was a calm and clear day.  The Bishop said he had never seen the lake that calm.  We could see Mt. Herman in the distance.  The captain turned off the motors and we held a worship service on the boat in the Sea of Galilee.  Talk about a surreal experience!

We arrived at a restaurant called Ein Gev on the other side of the lake where we ate St. Peter’s Fish.  It's a type of fresh water Tilapia only caught in the Sea of Galilee.  It was delicious.  

Our tour guide Deeb

From there we traveled by bus to Capernaum.  It would have been a fishing village in Jesus' day.  It was amazing.  It was the home of Peter and where Jesus spent a lot of his time.  

Synagogue in Capernauem 

Statue of Peter
Ruins of Capernaum

Church built on Peter's home

Millstone: Luke 17:2 - these weighed at least 700lbs and up to 2,000lbs...brought the seriousness of the verse to a new level for me.

Then we went to the place where it is said that Jesus gave the Beatitudes and also where the miracle of the multiplication of the bread and fish took place.  The general area is called Tabgah which literally means 7 springs.  One spring is still running.  

 Pics of the Church of the Beatitudes

We were unable to go to the church of the Multiplication, it was closed that day.  However, we did walk down to the Sea of Galilee and visited the church of the primacy of Peter...where St. Peter was restored by Jesus.  We worshipped in the church and then went out to the shore of the Sea of Galilee and had a powerful moment there as well.  I just imagined Jesus walking on the water and the disciples being worried in the boat and Peter being restored.  Words don’t come close to describing the feeling.

Pics of the the walk down to the Sea of Galilee from the place where Jesus taught the Beatitudes and where he multiplied the fishes and loaves.

Pics of the Church of the Primacy of Peter and sitting by the shore...

It’s amazing to walk where Jesus walked.  To see the nature that Jesus would have seen.  To smell the smells and feel the water and just think about all the stories that happened in this area.  It really brings the Bible to life.

We came back to Tiberias where our hotel was located.  The Royal Plaza Hotel.  It was very nice with an extraordinary view of the Sea of Galilee.  The food, hospitality and view made it just an amazing place to stay.

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