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2012 Israel Trip Favorite Picture - Part III

The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee.As we close out 2012, I want to include one more picture from the trip that I took to Israel in September. Both of the times I have visited Israel, one of the highlights was to take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. From that vantage point, you can see so many of the locations that we read about in the Bible. One of the buildings that you can see is the Franciscan church commonly called the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. Traditionally, the church sits on the location of the breakfast in which Jesus ate with his apostles after his resurrection.

After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. - John 21:1-14

As I took the picture, I thought about this story. I wondered how disappointed the apostles felt in that they had fished all night but had nothing to show for it. Then, as I continued to look through the viewfinder, I realized that, like the apostles, I couldn't recognize any of the people on the shore. Obviously, I was much farther from shore than they were, but it was so interesting to realize that I was seeing a sight very similar to them.

2012 Israel Trip - Day Five

2012 Israel Trip - Day Five


This morning started off with a beautiful sunrise on the Sea of Galilee. Our hotel rooms all have windows that face east overlooking the sea. It was a great way to start the day. After breakfast, we headed for the delayed boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Actually, our misfortune from yesterday was a blessing this morning. Yesterday morning featured some haze along the lake, but today was crystal clear. It was a perfect day for viewing the sites. Our boat ride lasted about two hours. We were able to see Tiberias, Magdala, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha and the Cove of the Sower. You can learn so much about the stories in the Gospels by actually being out on the sea. The same sea that Jesus calmed by speaking to it. The same sea that Jesus walked on to meet with his disciples. And, the same sea in which he instructed some local fishermen to go against everything they knew about fishing and cast their nets on the other side of the boat.

We got off the boat at Ginnesor and visited a museum which contains an ancient boat from the first century AD. About 30 years ago, the Galilee region suffered a drought and water level dropped considerably revealing an ancient boat. The boat was dug out, protected and placed in the museum for us to enjoy. Again, it allows us to see the type of boats that were used during Jesus' time.

From there we made multiple stops:

1) Magdala Archaeological Dig Site - Recently, they have discovered remains of the city of Magdala. The city is not mentioned in the Bible, but we do know of one of its residents. Remember Mary Magdaline? A better translation of her "name" is Mary from Magdala.

2) Mount of Beatitudes - This is the traditional location of where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. Honestly, it is probably not the exact location, but it is in the vicinity of where that even occurred.

3) Capernaum - The ruins of this city lies along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. During the first century, it was a thriving fishing community. Jesus spent much of his ministry in and around the Capernaum area. From the shore, you can envision the disciples heading out across the sea in their boat.

4) Chorazim - We drove by the ruins in ancient Chorazim. This is one of the cities that Jesus condemned due to their unbelief.

5) Bethsaida - We toured the site of ancient Bethsaida. Honestly, there is considerable questions about the validity of the site. Obviously, there is an ancient city here, but whether or not it is Bethsaida is the question.

We made our way around the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee finishing up by looking at the ruins of ancient Tiberias. Tomorrow morning, after worship, we will leave the Galilee region and head south toward Jerusalem.