DAY 6 – FRIDAY, JULY 17
Today was a day spent around the Sea of Galilee. Under a sunny ski and warm temps again (90 or so, very pleasant with an afternoon breeze), we began our day by visiting the cliffs of Arbel. Nine in the group hiked to the top while the rest of the group drove to the top from the other side. This is one of the best views of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus spend most of his ministry time in this area, and from the top, it’s a great view of the region.
Next we drove to Magdala. Here we saw the 1st century AD synagogue. Even though not mentioned in the Gospels, Jesus must have taught here. We visited the new chapel built on the grounds, enjoying the reading of Mathew 13 and singing. Staying on this NW corner of the lake, we next visited Chorazim, one of the three cities condemned by Jesus (Luke 10). We read Matthew 23 from within the 3rd century AD synagogue made from basalt.
Finally before lunch, we visited Capernaum, the “ministry home-town” of Jesus. It was here where He first called His disciples. He also displayed His authority (“s’mekah”) here through His teaching, healing, and forgiving of sin. We read from Mark 1, 2, and nine; Luke 7; and John 6.
After a great “St. Peter’s fish” lunch, we drove to the southern end of the Sea of Galilee to Yardenit. Seven chose to re-affirm their faith by getting baptized in the Jordan River. It was a special time! Close by we visited the Kinneret Cemetery where we heard of the life story of a certain “Rachel, the Poet.”
We ended the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and a visit to the Mt. of Beatitudes. It was very windy on the lake, making reading Mark 4 and Matthew 14 (the “storm narratives” very real!). We enjoyed a time of worship on the boat as well. On the Mt. of Beatitudes, we heard Matthew 5 read in Hebrew. We also talked about God’s kingdom. We walked down the path to the shoreline of the lake.
We returned to our hotel for dinner and an optional gathering on the beach of the lake. Some went swimming too. It was a special way to end another great day here in Israel.
DAY 6 – FRIDAY, JULY 17: GOLAN HEIGHTS, DAN, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, QATZRIN, GAMLA, KATZRIN