A Clearer Picture April 29, 2016
Today we hit the ground running, spending time in the northern part of Israel. We visited Tiberias (Galilee), Dan, Capernaum, and took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
Our first stop was the Mt. of Beatitudes, this had to be the high-lite of my day. Not only do I love Matt 5-7 (The Beatitudes and The Sermon on the Mount), but it was truly an absolutely beautiful place. Our tour guide (Hela, who might I say again is simply AWESOME) personally knows one of the Sister’s who operate the chapel located there. Sister Rose came out and shared a very meaningful words to live by;
“The Mt. is special because it gives the message of Life, the life of Jesus….You are blessed no matter who you are , you are blessed” She continued with, “the message is to live the Beatitudes………Look then to the Beatitudes and then what can I do….. We all have a mission, try to do your best”……Sister Rose finished with this saying, “we do our best and God does the rest”. Might I encourage us all to read the Beatitudes again, (or maybe for the first time, Matt 5:1-15) Matt. 5:16 ….let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. NOT BAD ADVICE!
The actual location of the Mt of Beatitudes was absolutely beautiful. During our walk back to our bus, Charlie Ryan and I were reminded of our good friend Bob Smith and how he loved this section of scripture. He was a special man who impacted the lives of many.
We then traveled to Dan and visited the possible gate of Canaan, where in Gen. 12 we read how Abraham left his country to the place where God would lead. The ancient site is being excavated. This location is dated 2500 years before Christ.
Not too far from this was Caesarea Philippi. This was a place where we were given a clearer picture of the scriptures. We visited the Temple of Pan, a pagan god. Next to the temple sight was a cave called the Cave of Hell. It was at this sight Jesus had possibly asked the question “who do people say that I am”. Following Peter’s claim that he was “The Christ, the Son of the living God”, Jesus responded “the gates of Hell will not prevail”. He was making a specific reference to this sight.
Following lunch we visited the site where Jesus served the disciples fish following his resurrection. This was also the story of the miraculous catch in John 21. It was a beautiful location right on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Kim and I had our picture taken with another couple traveling with our tour. It just happens that the man, Arlo Pinkerton taught our nephew’s wife Sunny in grade school. They are from Stromsberg, NE, the place where Sunny’s grew up…..it truly is a small world.
Our day ended with a relaxing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Tomorrow we begin with a baptism service in the Jordan River. We made it to the far northern area of Israel and we will begin a southern track, eventually taking us to Jerusalem in a couple of days. By tomorrow evening we will be floating in the Dead Sea.