Did We Really Do All That?

Trip Start Aug 31, 2010
1
5
14
Trip End Sep 12, 2010


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Flag of Israel  , Galilee,
Friday, September 3, 2010

It was quite a day today in Galilee.  We left the hotel at 8 AM and returned at  5:30, amazed at where we had gone.  We started out by visiting the church on the site where Jesus preached the message known as the Beatitudes, found in Matthew 5 and Luke 6:20-23.  Is it really the place of that sermon?  No one knows, but it certainly could have been. David our guide urged us to connect with the meaning and message of the place and not the place itself. That is good advice.  David set the historical stage, I read the account in the gospels and then we went through the Catholic church on the site, that was built by Mussolini to appease his critics when he ruled Italy.

We then went to Capernaum where there is strong evidence that the synagogue and house that were unearthed there were on the site where Jesus preached to the synagogue crowd in Mark 3.  The house is believed to have belonged to the Apostle Peter.  A Catholic church is built over the site of Peter's home and the church has a plexiglass floor so you can see the ruins of Peter's home underneath.

From Capernaum, we went to a sight called Tabgha, or a church called Peter's Primacy.  It is the place on the Sea of Galilee beach where it is believed that Jesus had his discussion in with Peter John 21.  That site allows people to get right up to the Sea of Galilee, which some enjoyed immensely, especially because it was 100 degrees.

Then it was time for lunch, and we went to a kibbutz called Ein Gev for a lunch of St. Peter's fish.  The fish is actually talapia and believed to be the fish that Peter pulled out of the lake with a coin in its mouth to pay his temple tax (see Matthew 17:24-27).  Most people had the fish, although a few had pizza or pasta.  One man could not stomach the fact that his fish lunch was staring him in the face with wide eyes!

After lunch, we took a drive to the Boat Museum, where we saw the oldest anceint relic in Israel that is not stone or pottery.  It is called the Jesus Boat and is a 2,000-year-old wooden fishing boat that was pulled from the mud in 1986.  It is a very cool site.  From the museum, we went for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.  When the operators put on a worship CD, it became a moving experience for some as they sailed the waters on which Jesus walked and worked around.

Then after the boat ride, we moved south to the baptismal site on the Jordan River.  I baptized sixteen people, who paid $10 to rent a robe and towel from the site operators for the special event. Each person will receive a certificate that verifies they were indeed baptized in the Jordan River.  Then finally, we visited an outlet that sells dates, date honey and a whole lot more stuff to eat and drink.  We had to hurry back because the Sabbath begins on Friday at sundown and everything shuts down in Israel and then reopens on Saturday at sundown.

The team members are all well and marveling at what they have seen and done, and it is only the second day!  Tomorrow we are off to the Golan Heights and points north, with a trip to the Diamond Factory planned for some time tomorrow.  75% of the world's diamonds are cut here in Israel and there is no duty on finished jewelry bought here in Israel and brought back to the U.S.  It is always fun to watch people shop for some beautiful and expensive reminders of their trip to the Holy Land.

Stay tuned, we have a lot more to share with you in the days ahead.
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Comments

Tina Nzuki on

Dr. Stanko, this rocks! Thank you for describing in much details what the trip looks like. Loved the 'here's looking at you' fish Lol. I am waiting for day two. Bring it on....oh and get me a diamond. THANKS!

Steve Israel on

I think I once had St. Peter's pizza when we use to live in Pittsburgh. :-P

Luanne Sacco on

Tell Kathy and Greg they rock in that robe !!!

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