Well today, was not as full because of a delay at the border of Israel. Tomorrow will be more exciting as we visit more “Jesus” sites! For today we visited Jericho, Nazareth and Cana in Galilee. Tomorrow will be loaded, trust me. So please keep posted!
Well as I mentioned, were delayed at the border of Israel due to tight security. I almost got pulled out of the line because of the way I look! Anyway, as you can see in the photo below, my seat of choice was at the back of the bus and this is a shot of our tour bus. Pretty neat, huh! That’s Pastor Ron to my left with an open map of Jerusalem.
The next couple of photos you will see what archaeologists believe to be the ruins of Jericho. You can see traces of what would have been the famous walls in some areas, but you would need to take a closer look to see that the walls were made with three thick layers. I couldn’t get near enough to get a clear shot, but this one in particular is a shot of where they say Jericho’s watchtower was located. They believe that a most of the city has yet to be uncovered.
This next photo, is believed to be where the Walls of Jericho started! If that is accurate then the walls must have been really thick, at least from the perspective of where I was standing. It really is amazing how historical, truthful, and precise the Word of God is!
Our next visit was the desert where Jesus was tempted by Satan! The very mountain was where he was taken to be tempted a third time at the highest point.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9, NIV)
Jesus also fasted for 40 days and nights and was believed to stay in those caves in the mountain during that season of fasting. From here we drove for about 15 minutes to another important site – the tree that Zaccheus the tax collector climbed in order to get a glimpse of Jesus.
The tree you see below is believed to be the exact tree that Zachy (Zaccheus, the tax collector) climbed as narrated in the gospels. It was the day Jesus stopped underneath the tree and called out his name, bringing redemption into Zach’s home that day!
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. (Luke 19:1-6, NIV)
On the way, I had volunteered to climb it and wait until Jesus would call my name! Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to actually climb it.
Nazareth was disappointing for me. During Jesus’ time, Nazareth was a small place with a few houses and small families. Now it’s so commercialized! It is a huge place with malls, houses and so developed. Churches have been erected on the very place they believed that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Admittedly, the tour guide says that the location is not 100% accurate. I guess I was expecting some areas to be preserved to I can get at least a little feel of how it was in Christ’s home town.
I tried as best I could to get a shot from where we stood, but the sun was glaring no matter what angle I attempted since we had arrived there around 3PM. Trust me, even Jesus would not recognize this place.
Cana was another disappointment, because I was expectant since this was the place where Jesus performed the very first miracle by turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). As I walked through Cana, I saw no traces of what it used to be. Cana is filled with wine sellers, souvenir shops, and truckloads of tourists! What a heartbreak for me, I was hoping to see more Biblical history in this region. There is a church, that is believed to be where Jesus turned the water into wine. For me, both Nazareth and Cana in Galilee were painful to see.
Tomorrow will definitely be amazing! We will visit the Mount of the beatitudes where Jesus taught one of the most important teachings in the entire scripture, and we will walk around the Sea Of Galilee where He ministered to the masses and performed numerous miracles! The next few days will be exciting, so keep posted to our YPC blog!