Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 3 - 2000 Year Old Boat, Baptism in the Jordan, Lunch on the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum and Boatride on the Sea of Galilee

As it turns out, our good weather was shortlived and by the morning of the third day the rains and storms of Israel it. Needless to say it set the stage for an adventurous stage of touring.

We started our day looking at a boat that they call the 'Jesus boat' because they were able to date it to the times of Jesus. It
was pretty spectacular when you consider how they came upon it and the ingenuity it took to preserve it while they were digging it out. They had to keep it wet constantly because once the air hit it, it was crumbling into powder. The metal bars that you see are holding the pieces of the boat in place. They soaked the boat in a wax solution for 16 years before they were able to put it on display.

Immediately following the viewing of the boat and a little shopping at the souvenir place in the museum we headed to take a ride in a boat to Caprnaum, the town where Jesus' ministry was headquartered. What an adventure that turned out to be! We stepped outside to the dock and, literally, by the time we got to the boat, the rain was coming down sideways. At one point some of us actually thought we might be blown off the dock. There we were, standing on the boad dock waiting for the boat to come, being pelleted by the rain. When our guide saw that the boat we were about to get on had no screens on the side to prevent the rain from blowing in, we opted to postpone the ride until later. Thus began our planning our day based on what we thought the weather might be.
Figuring that we were all soaking wet already, we opted to head to the Jordan River to hold a baptism. God was so gracious to provide a break in the weather as we baptised around twenty people from both churches. You can get an idea of what the area looks like where we baptized. Pastor Jason and I are getting ready to baptize Kevin McCarthy in the picture on the left.

After the baptism, we headed back to the 'kibbutz' to change clothes, and then it was off to a fish lunch on the east shore of the Sea of Galilee. Most of us ate the fish, served with the head on it. It is called 'talapia', and is the very kind of fish that is caught in the Sea of Galilee. It was really quite tasty, and as you can see by the picture, some of us (P.J.Dattilo) ate everything...but the bones!

Our next stop was Capernaum. Probably one of the most amazing sights of the tour. As I mentioned earlier, Caperaum was the sight where much of Jesus' ministry is centered. He spent a lot of time there and we learned that in some respects He was the resident Rabbi, in the sense that he would have spent a lot of time teaching in the synagogue there.

You can see a picture of a synagogue on the left. While this is a newer synagogue than in Jesus' day, they know that part of the floor are the original floor. When they were digging up the site, they discovered a box of Roman coins underneath the old floor which dated back to the times of Jesus. It was pretty incredible to think that we were standing on the very same floor where Jesus would have taught.
Although it continued to rain, we had a bible study underneath the trees next to the synagogue and then spent time looking at the various ruins that made up the town. It is unbelievalbe how many ruins there are in Israel. Everywhere you turn, they are discovering an older part of Israel. It is exciting to know that the bible is used to confirm what these places are and the reason for their existence.

We finished our wet day of touring with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. The boat we had, had the screens to keep the rain off of us. We were able to have a sweet time of worship and a bible study on the boat. It was a great way to end a good day of visiting the area where our Lord spent so much time ministering. As you drive around the Sea, you can just imagine the crowds of people, walking with Jesus, just waiting to hear Him speak. What a glorious time it must have been!


Anonymous said...

Great posts, I like the pictures too, keep it up, say Hi to SHCC people for us

From the McGuires

Anonymous said...

We are enjoying the blog! Thanks for giving us a peek into your trip.Our prayers are with you all for a safe/blessed time. The Holm family:)

Anonymous said...

Excellent presentation of the trip! (from one who was there)