Shalom (Peace) from Tel Aviv, Israel!
Our day started with prayer and breakfast. Breakfast today was different because of the Sabbath. No eggs were served due to specific laws related to preparing them. Even so, we still had plenty of options on the breakfast buffet. The fruit is delicious, and the nuts are plentiful almost at every meal. Eating walnuts, cashews, and almonds each morning keeps me in my normal routine. And there’s enough chocolate to go around over here, too.
Our first ministry stop was at the Mount of Beatitudes. Jesus sat down on this hillside and preached an amazing sermon that continues to confound the world, and He taught His followers about praying, fasting, and giving (Matthew 5-7). Dr. David Jeremiah taught a Bible study from the Sermon on the Mount at this location, too. The Mount of Beatitudes overlooks the Sea of Galilee. Being able to see the Sea of Galilee for the first time was breathtaking. On and around this body of water, Jesus called His first disciples; Jesus walked on water; Jesus calmed the storm; and Jesus provided for the needs of His followers. What an amazing place! We’ll be back at the Sea of Galilee tomorrow for a boat ride and worship experience.
We left the Mount of Beatitudes for a short ride to the town of Capernaum. This small area is located again on the coastline of the Sea of Galilee. This was the hometown of Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew. Jesus called His first disciples along Capernaum’s shoreline (Mt. 4:18-22). Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law in this locale (Mt. 8:14-15). It’s a small town with deep historical and spiritual significance.
Our next stop was at a small town called Magdala. As you might imagine, it was the hometown of Mary Magdalene. Since 2009, archeologists have been exploring and digging in this area. Their findings have been astounding! It’s biblically and historically accurate to say that Jesus walked, stayed, and ministered in this town. I can’t begin to tell you the emotion of walking in the actual “footprints” of our Lord. Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter in this area; He taught in the local synagogue; and the woman with the issue of blood touched Him here (Mt. 9:18-26) The time spent in this town was one of those spiritual mountaintops. If that wasn’t enough, Angie and I ate lunch in Magdala. We were served fresh Talapia from the Sea of Galilee. The head, eyes, and tail of each fish made its way to our plates. As I often joke, I prayed, “Lord, I’ll put it down if You’ll keep it down.” The fish was actually tasty and delicious!
Our last ministry site of the day led us to the Jordan River. Water flows from the Sea of Galilee into the Jordan River, ending at the Dead Sea. We’ll be at the Dead Sea in a few days. Many people stepped into the Jordan River for a baptismal experience. The Jordan River is relatively small in many ways. However, we know that its the place of Jesus’ baptism (Mt. 3:13). Jesus gave us an example of the importance of water baptism by total immersion. We’ll see the Jordan River several more times before leaving the Holy Land.
I’d say that’s enough details for the day. May the Lord reveal His glory tomorrow in Tallahassee and in the Holy Land!
With Love and Gratitude,
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