Thursday, February 09, 2017

Israel 2017- Day Three

Around midnight Charity made it to the hotel! It's great having her with me for the trip now! Its been fun to share with her all our group has already done. It’s also been great seeing the joy on her face at seeing the sights.

Arbel Cliff 

Our first stop today was to the Arbel Cliff. It's a large cliff on the west side of the Sea of Galilee. It over looks the Galilee region and has a great view. Our day is a little hazy so our view wasn't fantastic. I can imagine that on a clear day it would be spectacular!

I’m not sure if you know but I’m afraid of heights. It was a little scary for me being up here. I did walk over to the edge and stand by the railing. It helped me to see the the initial drop isn’t too bad. The natural landscape on top was beautiful. There were rocks and green grass that lined the trial.

At the top I saw some of the men and women who serve in the Israeli army. I have been interested to talk with them and was able to. Every Israeli person serves in the army. The few I spoke with were kind enough to take a picture with me!


Our next stop was Cana. This is where Jesus' first miracle happened. Many people know it. It's the account in John 2 where He turns water into wine. Some people wonder why this was His first miracle. I’ve never taught the passage but I can say it was very interesting learning more about the miracle while being here.

In this town there are two churches that claim their location is where Jesus preformed the miracle. One is a Catholic Church and the second is a Greek Orthodox Church. They are basically across the street from each other. And I’m not talking a big road, this is a modest one way road in a community. I'm not sure if either location is the right location but it was nice to visit the area.


Our third stop today was Nazareth. Nazareth is the home town of Jesus. It's not His birthplace but His hometown. During Jesus' time the city was maybe 250-400 people.
Currently the city is approximately 70,000-80,000. We spent our morning at Nazareth Town. It’s a small town that is set up to model what Nazareth most likely looked like in the time of Jesus.

This place is a must see if you are planning to come here. They have olive trees and many branches granted in. We learned about pressing olive oil and how it was made while here (check out the picture of the olive press). They also have livestock. There was a woman who was making thread and then weaving it into a blanket. After our visit we had lunch at the place.

We also visited the church of annunciation. This is where Gabriel came to share the good news with Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. The building is beautiful and very close the Nazareth Town. We took a quick walk through it and I was impressed by it’s marvel. In all honesty, I was also bummed to see such an ornate church empty and with little room to hold a worship service.

We also saw the church synagogue here. It’s an interesting name because it seems so contradictory. The crusaders built this house of worship where they think the synagogue from Jesus' time period might have been. It can be used for a church or worship service.

The location of this site is where Jesus would have most likely read the words of the prophet Isaiah. The account is found in Luke and a great ready!


This is a historical site we visited that has no Biblical mention. With its proximity to Nazareth, scholars think Jesus may have worked in this area, with Joseph, when he was younger. It would have been a long walk for Jesus but could have been accomplished in a day's time. They could have worked in this area for a few weeks at a time before returning home.

We spent a good amount of time here today examining the ruins, looking at tile floors from 1700 years ago and looking at the synagogue. I really enjoyed being outside, listening to our guide and thinking about this area. Its amazing to see the scope of the archeological site here. Historians think the site is mostly Roman but there is a section that is thought to be Jewish. This is determined by the building and decor. For example, the Romans would have used tile floor with illustrations while the Israelites would have used a simple pattern.

Overall it was another fun day of adventuring! I'm so excited we're one this trip and have this chance to enjoy it here!

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