Today was awesome! So far this has been for me the highlight of my trip, unless of course the Lord tops it again tomorrow. Every day is sweeter as the day goes by! Without further delays, let me get on with it.
Early this morning this was the view from our hotel, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
I Read the story in the Gospel of Mark when Jesus had fed the 5,000 (Mark 6:30-44), not knowing what to expect today. The story opens by allowing us to see how busy and tired Jesus was along with his disciples in that they needed a breather and so they got on a boat and headed to a nearby area, but the crowds spotted them and ran ahead of them by foot (These people were hungry spiritually! They wanted to be taught, they were all set to receive!). When Jesus went ashore he saw the crowds and had compassion on them so he began to teach them many things. Something struck me and I felt that the Lord was telling me something through these verses. Spiritual hunger will always supersede physical need! Jesus, although worn out physically saw a greater spiritual need and continued to address it without hesitation He was driven by compassion! Here was the Word for me today, “Son, I will meet you spiritual hunger today with tremendous compassion. The intensity of your hunger will determine the intensity of my response to you.” And so please allow that Word to lay a foundation for the remaining days of the tour. I’m touring hungry!
We visited the place where Jesus preached the Sermon On The Mount including the beatitudes. Although it was awesome to see, a church has been erected in this area and so it kinda lost its Biblical feel, it has a bit of a modern touch to it. Yes, you see the curve of the mountain and you get a tiny glimpse of how Jesus would speak, but I personally felt that it could have been better without the huge structure sitting on that mountain. It would have been awesome to stand on the mountain feeling the breeze and the heat of the sun while getting a feel of someone’s booming voice reading the scriptures to you out in the open! The place was crowded and with a lot of tourists. The highlight for me though was still being able to open the bible to Matthew 5 and reading the very text that Jesus taught about in this very spot.
From the Mount, we headed to the Sea Of Galilee for an actual boat ride in the very sea that Jesus walked on! It was indeed every bit as exciting as I expected.
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. (Matthew 14:23-25)
This is a shot of an actual boat during Jesus’ time that was preserved during a fairly recent excavation.
We got into our boat which happened to be named “Faith” – Oh yeah! Here we go!
Our boat even had the Philippine flag raised high. Go Team Philippines!
This was the highlight of my trip to date, it was the pleasant surprise! The “Faith” boat that we were in was manned by a Messianic Jew who happened to also be a worship leader! Part of their ministry was going around the country and leading people in worship. The moment he picked up the Microphone and said the word “Abba” I wanted to fall on my knees in worship! He worshiped in both English and Hebrew and I tell you the presence of God just fell on that boat while we were in the middle of the Sea. We sang familiar songs that they had personally translated in Hebrew, songs like “How Great Is Our God” and “Holy” and some others – before we knew it, people were weeping and hands were raised and the Spirit of the Living God was felt on that boat! After this, I could have gone home to the Philippines and I would have been satisfied! It was amazing. Spiritual hunger was met by His love and compassion! I took a high quality video of the entire worship, but I’ll post it some other time.
A shot of me standing on the side of the boat as we headed back ashore.
Another pleasant surprise for all of us was that one young man from our team proposed to his lovely lady, I will not mention any names though, but here is a photo of them celebrating and giggling after the entire thing. It’s all over Facebook anyway, so for those that know them personally please congratulate them!
From the anointed boat ride, we had lunch and then headed to the place where Jesus multiplied the bread and fish! Again, it was a little disappointing to me as another huge structure was set on that area. This is an inside shot of the church erected on the site they believe to be the very place where Jesus actually multiplied bread and fish and fed the 5,000! Next was a few minutes bus ride to Capernaum.
Capernaum was awesome! This is another place of many Biblical miracles. A lot of ruins were preserved and even part of the synagogue. Here are shots of the ruins and the synagogue. The place is full of history, it was such a great time to just connect with the very ministry that Jesus did in this region!
Capernaum is by the Sea Of Galilee, here is a shot of me with the Sea in the background! It was such a great experience.
From Capernaum, we headed to an area of the Jordan River to baptize a few poeple in our group. Here is a shot of the group in white outfit ready to be baptized. Pastor Albert, our head pastor, gave such an anointed explanation with scriptures of the significance of the water baptism. A couple from another denomination also joined the group to get baptized. Truly a remarkable experience!
Here is a shot of the River Jordan from another angle, this was where the team got baptized.
Today was just so amazing! It was God-ordained and Spirit-led. Tomorrow, and for the next couple of days, we will be in Jerusalem. First stop will be swimming in the Dead Sea. Stay tuned! See you again tomorrow.