DAY 9 – TUESDAY, JANUARY 21: REFLECTION-REST DAY: BOAT RIDE, MT. OF BEATITUDES, ARBEL CLIFFS
Today was a “reflection-rest day.” We experienced three intentional times of reflection. Our focus for the day was the kingdom teaching of Jesus from Mathew 5-7 and Matthew 13-14. And while it poured and stormed through the night here in the Galilee (although Mt. Hermon, Safed, and even parts of Jerusalem got snow!), we enjoyed some sun from the late morning through the afternoon. Highs reached about 60.
Boat Ride / Ancient Boat
Following a later breakfast at our leisure, we enjoyed a 9 a.m. departure time today. We walked directly to our boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. The water was calmed and the time of worship and reflection was special! We read from Mark 4 and Matthew 14, the two storm narratives. What a joy it is for us to be able to cast our cares, trials, and storms of life upon God who cares for us! Following the boat ride, we saw the ancient 1st century boat discovered in 1986 by two brothers from the kibbutz here. It is no doubt the type of boat used in Jesus’ day.
“Our loved our day of reflection. Both the Mt. of Beatitudes and Arbel provided quiet opportunities to read the very words of Jesus. And the view from Arbel of the Sea of Galilee below was magnificent!” – Tour participant –
Mt. of Beatitudes
From here we drove north to the Mt. of Beatitudes. This is a traditional location only suggested in the late 1930s. However, the natural amphitheater here would have allowed many people to listen to Jesus share His Sermon on the Mount here! We listened to the first parts of Matthew 5 in Hebrew before hearing these Beatitudes in English. For the next 30 minutes, we spread out in this area as we read all of Matthew 5-7 on our own. It was a time of reading, reflecting, and praying.
We drove to the modern and relatively new Tiberias Mall for lunch. We had lots of choices. We then drove to Mt. Arbel. We climbed to the top for one of the best views of the lake below! Once again we spread out on our own, this time reflecting upon the kingdom parables from Matthew 13-14. Because it was too muddy to hike from the very bottom to the top up the more suggest trail, some in the group descended down and then back up the path to get a taste of the trail. Following our reflection time, we painted stones we collected from on top. We can only think that possibly Arbel was the mountain where Jesus met His disciples following His resurrection (Matthew 28:16).
We returned back to the visitor center and boarded our bus back to the hotel. We got back around 4 p.m. We enjoyed some free time, dinner, and a free evening. We are looking forward to getting to Jerusalem tomorrow night!