Israel Day 2

If yesterday was a rainy, dreary day, then today could hardly be more perfect. We even worked up a sweat walking a trail down the Mount of Beatitudes.

This was one of the more emotional days of the itinerary. Christians and Messianic Jews come alive when experiencing the discovery of Yeshua’s life and ways and teachings. Today we were filled with the radiance of the Master.

We began with a boat ride on Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). The boat operator is a Messianic Jew (Daniel Carmel) in Israel, who sang worship songs for us. We read the appropriate stories from Yeshua’s life. Rob from South Carolina doesn’t seem like a particularly emotional man, but he had a tear in his eye at dinner as he talked about his experience on the boat.

We went to the Old Boat museum, with a boat from the approximate time of Yeshua and then to the Mount of Beatitudes. The walk down the mount seeing the lake of Galilee the whole descent is more beautiful than I can describe. Walking the green hills of Galilee and imagining another set of sandals trodding these stones before us is more indescribable.

I gave a brief talk about the Beatitudes as a promise of the Coming Age more so than a list of virtues. Mourners will soon be comforted, Yeshua promised. And I believe him.

At Capernaum we enjoyed seeing the old synagogue and the one under it that may be the very one Yeshua taught and healed in. Few Christians know that Capernaum is as important as Bethlehem or Nazareth in the Yeshua story.

We went on to do other things, but this day got me thinking.

I have tried to think about what this trip is like for first-timers. American Christians and Messianic Jews get something almost tangible here. They get context.

All stories have a context and sometimes to appreciate the story more deeply we need to get in touch with that context. Our steps in Galilee were about context. Beloved passages came alive. We passed a Jujube tree, a common one here, with long thorns and possibly the one the crown of thorns was made from. We saw flowers even in December and thought of Yeshua’s homespun homilies in agricultural Galilee. We saw the small area of his work and healing and teaching, another example of God working through the small things and not the power structures from on high.

Blessed are those who make the journey here, for they shall be filled.


About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
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