DAY 6 – FRIDAY, MAY 1
Another sunny day greeted us, with comfortable temps in the low 80s. Leaving the hotel once again at about 7:30, our first stop as Mt. Arbel. Four in the group hiked up the trail, meeting the other part of the group on tip of this 800 foot cliff that overlooks the NW corner of the Sea of Galilee. From here we can see almost the entire lake below. We considered the imagery of Matthew 13, a parable of the kingdom. From here we descended down through Tiberias to Magdala. Here we saw a 1st century synagogue. Not doubt Jesus taught in this synagogue, even though it isn’t mentioned in the Gospels. Mary “Magdalene” was from here. We also saw the inside of a beautiful new chapel on the grounds.
Driving to the NW corner of the lake, we visited Chorazim, one of the three cities condemned by Jesus (Mt. 11). We read from Matthew 23 (about the haughtiness and hypocrisy of the Pharisees) within the 3rd century synagogue. Our last stop before lunch was Capernaum, the “home base” of Jesus’ ministry. Within the 5th century synagogue we read from Mark 1, 2 Luke 7, and John 6, all stories that took place here in Capernaum. We enjoyed a quiet time by the shoreline of the lake.
Driving back to the Magdala area, we enjoyed a “St. Peter’s fish” lunch here. Driving to Nof Ginnosar, we boarded a boat for a 45 minute boat ride on the lake. We enjoyed a time of worship and reflection. We read from Mark 4 & 6 about the storm narratives that Jesus and His disciples encountered here. Embarking, we saw the 1st century boat that was found here in 1986.
Driving to Yardenit at the southern end of the lake, 5 were baptized in the Jordan River here. It was a special time for all of us as we re-committed our lives to following Christ as one of His talmidim (followers). Nearby we visited the Kinneret cemetery where the famous Rachel, a Zionistic Jew from the Ukraine, was buried in 1931. Shlomo read, sang, and played a few of her poems.
We ended the day by driving back to the Mt. of Beatitudes. We sat on the hillside (and top of a natural amphitheater) and heard the words of Matthew 5 read in both Hebrew and English. We enjoyed another reflective moment before walking down the field to the shoreline below.
Driving back to the hotel, we enjoyed another wonderful dinner together for Shabbat (the Sabbath), followed by a free evening.
It was great day of focusing on the life and ministry of Jesus.
DAY 7 – SATURDAY, MAY 2
We plan to drive south to Beth Shean, Jericho, and the Wadi Qelt (Judean Desert) on our way to Jerusalem.