We woke up the next morning to a beautiful sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. Because we had gone to bed the night before around 3:00am after all that travel, the wonder of jet lag got us going after about three and a half hours of sleep.
Breakfast at our hotel was a large buffet of different Israeli cheeses and eggs. The tour we took is a tour of just pastors and their spouses. What surprised us on this tour was how few Baptists were on this tour.
Our first stop was Tabgha. This is the location where Jesus took the 5 fish and two loaves from a little boy and fed 5,000.
The place where the altar sits is believed to be where Jesus stood during the miracle.
Within this church, you can see the foundation of a church which was built around 350 AD.
We had lunch in Ibillin with Elias Chacour, an Archbishop who is an Arab Christian. Archbishop Chacour is key in working for peace in Israel between Palestinians and Jews. He has written the book Blood Brothers about this important work.
After meeting the Archbishop, we had lunch at the school he founded. His school is a Christian school which is open to Christian, Muslim, and any student who wants to come. After lunch we were treated to Turkish coffee, which is like espresso on steroids.
We next headed to Mount Carmel. Mt Carmel is where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal, teased Baal for his uselessness, doused his own sacrifice with water, and then saw God consume the sacrifice with fire from Heaven.
Inside the chapel, the altar is made of 12 uncut stones. 12 stands for the number of tribes in Israel, and the purposely uncut construction directs the worshiper to understand God’s requirement to build sacrificial altars with uncut stone in the Old Testament.
On top of the chapel, we were treated to sweeping views of Israel’s countryside.
At the base of Mount Carmel was the Valley of Megiddo.
And on a completely unrelated note, we also found this beautiful German Shepherd. Jenn said he must be the dog from Scripture that eats the crumbs from his master’s table.
We then went to visit Nazareth. Nazareth was the boyhood home of Jesus. In Nazareth we saw the home where Gabriel appeared to Mary.
Here is a part of the church floor Constantine built in 325AD
We also saw the place where it is believed Joseph saw the angel and where Joseph’s workshop was.
As we were leaving we saw a synagogue which dates back to the time of Jesus. This synogogue might be the place where Jesus read the messianic prophecy about himself, and said, “a prophet is without honor in his hometown.”
We finished the night with dinner at our hotel and some much needed rest.
Up next, more of the Galilee area…
Israel Trip: Getting There,