Galilee Travels

Hello from Israel once again. We have had an exciting day literally walking in the footsteps of Jesus as we toured the Galilee region. Our day began at the “Jesus boat” which is a 2000 year old fishing boat they discovered in the mud of the floor of the Sea of Galilee in a drought year. We then headed out on the water for a boat tour with scripture readings of the calming of the storm and Jesus walking on the water. It was a beautiful calm sunny day as we sailed where Jesus, Peter and the disciples would have so many times as well. The boats, water and fishing activity/villages reminded us of home!

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After landing back at the dock we traveled to the place of Jesus miracle of the feeding of the 5000. (Matthew 14:14-21) We visited a church at the sight, which is standard fare for such places here, and then moved on to the location of Jesus meeting the disciples on the shore after his resurrection. (John 21) We were able to stand in the Sea of Galilee and picture Jesus calling us to come and dine. It was a great reminder to me, as we read of Jesus command to Peter at this time, to do what he called Peter to do so long ago; feed my sheep! What a wonderful responsibility it is to pastor Christ’s flock as He continues to save and transform lives as he did then.


Then it was on to one of the towns that Jesus cursed for their unbelief – Chorazin. (Matthew 11:21-22)and to lunch where we enjoyed what they call here “St Peter’s Fish.” The restaurants claim is that this is the fish that Peter would have caught as well, but whether or not that is entirely accurate, it was tasty! We moved from there to Capernaum, which was a highlight. This was the center of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee and where he performed many notable miracles. It is the location of Peter’s home where his mother-in-law was healed by Jesus and where they believe Jesus stayed while there. We enjoyed the synagogue that has been excavated at the sight, singing several songs and picturing Jesus teaching and healing as he we know he did there. (Mark 1:21-27)

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When we finished at Capernaum we headed to Kursi to see the place where the maniac was healed (Matthew 8:28-34) in the region on the Gergesenes. This was where the pigs ran down off the cliff into the sea and it was incredible to see the slope and cliff where this event would have taken place. To finish our day of touring we went to the baptismal site Israel has made on the Jordan river to commemorate Jesus’ baptism by John. It was fascinating to see the Mark 1:9-11 passage written outside the sight in all different languages. It reminded me that our faith in Christ is shared by people from every tribe, nation, kindred and tongue!


We are now heading to bed after another beautiful meal. It is my first day without a nap so I continue to feel stronger each day. I am so thankful that God has given me the strength to be here and once again experience, along with Tara and the others, the wonder of seeing where Jesus ministered. It is a marvel that God would come and take on human flesh to be with us and then die in our place. What wondrous love is this!

Enjoy the pictures and feel free to comment!

Pastor Joel

P.S. At lunch Isaac finally found a date!