We started today at the Mt. of Beatitudes where Jesus gave the sermon on the mount on the slopes in front of the Sea of Galilee. It was a God moment for me to see this spot where Jesus taught thousands His basic message for living life. It is very informative to see this region where Jesus spent the majority of His life and ministry. The whole territory can be seen in one panoramic view from the Sea of Galilee. The seashore which borders all this area is surprisingly less than 30 miles long. It is only 43 miles around the whole Sea which is 8 miles wide and 13 miles long and 150 feet deep.
You can see Capernaum from the Mt. of Beatitudes. It was a prosperous town with large homes. Peter's family home may have covered 5000 square feet. The synagogue there has been rebuilt but probably on the very spot where it was in Jesus' day. The nearby Jordan River is less than 1/3 the size of the Little Miami or Stillwater at the point it feeds into the
Sea of Galilee.
We had lunch in Nazareth with the pastors and wives of the churches in this area supported by the Christian Holyland Foundation associated with our fellowship of churches. There are 150,000 evangelical Christians in all of Israel and these pastors lead 5 churches in the Nazareth/Cana area. We saw the spring where Mary with preschool age Jesus would have gotten their water. Today it is inside a Catholic church built to honor it. In Jesus' day Nazareth had about 300 residents. Today Nazareth is a city of 30,000 just because it's where Jesus was from. In downtown Nazareth we visited a site that has been developed to look like life in Jesus' day. It is owned and operated by the evangelical Christians in town. Interestingly, there is a highly respected, private Baptist high school in Nazareth. The evangelical Christians are Arabic. Messianic Jews are an even smaller population than the evangelical Christian Arabs.
This afternoon we climbed Mt. Precipice where according to tradition Jesus was taken after His sermon in the synagogue that His fellow citizens were offended by and then sought to kill Him by throwing Him from the precipice.
We ended our tour today with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee at sunset and returned to our hotel in Tiberias.