It’s the second day and we are gonna cross the Sea of Galilee! The Sea of Galilee lies at about 180 metres below sea level and violent storms sometimes rush down from the surrounding mountains which lead to very rough waters. Here’s a fun fact for you – do you know that the Sea of Galilee provides 30% of the drinking water in Israel? :)
Anyways, the day started off looking slightly overcast and at this point, I was thinking in my heart, “How cool it would be if the sea got rough and we get to experience how the disciples felt when they were tossed by the waves”. Haha! I know I’m crazy for thinking that but we are in the land of the Bible and I just wish to experience it all. By the way, the boat we were on is in the design of a traditional fishing boat from the first century.
Before we departed, we had a flag-raising ceremony and I must say that was a very nice touch.
Israel and Singapore flags flying high!
On board, the boat operator sang worship songs in both English and Hebrew, and he even taught us to sing a worship song in Hebrew! How can we not have our own worship session and sharing of the Word when this is the place where Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea, taught on Peter’s boat and walked on water?
- Excerpt from my notebook -
Put your trust in the Lord!
This is still the same Sea of Galilee, He is the still same Jesus.When you are distracted by the waves, you sink because your eyes are off Jesus. When your eyes are on Jesus, you can do the impossible.
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him. - Luke 5:1-11
When you depend on self-effort, you’ll end up with little or even nothing. When Jesus is in your boat, He will bless you. Jesus is a gentleman. When you serve Him, He will set you up for a blessing because you are so precious to Him.
I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.- Genesis 9:13
Although I had petitioned to Daddy God to see a rainbow in Israel, I was still blown away when I saw it and I burst out crying. This was a sign to me that He loves me dearly and He hears my heart’s desires. :’)
One of our members packed some bread from breakfast and she shared with us to feed the seagulls, and there were a lot of them!
The sun is out and the place is just so picturesque :)
When we got to the dock, we hopped off to visit the Ancient Boat Museum, to check out a boat that was dated to the first century based on carbon dating. It was discovered by two brothers who were fishermen during a drought.
This video below will speak a thousand words, and it’s about 8 minutes long.
The boat was well preserved because it was covered with mud and that prevented decomposition. From what was shared, the moment the boat was exposed to the air, the wood was really fragile and a light poke can cause a dent in the wood. Special effort had to be taken to excavate and preserve the boat. There was also evidence of repeated repairs on the boat as they found different types of wood used in the replacing of certain parts, and there were up to 12 different types of wood identified from the remains.
Next stop, Mount Arbel!
This is the view on route to Mount Arbel, and tell me how is this not just awe-inspiring.
Mount Arbel is located at the lower Galilee region and the view from the top of the mountain is just spectacular. This is the place where Jesus goes to to pray and spend time alone.
The weather was just beautiful for hiking. :)
I thought since wildflowers were aplenty, it wouldn’t hurt to get a bunch of them! :D I can’t believe wildflowers can be that pretty. Why don’t we have nicer looking wildflowers in Singapore?! :(
On our way to lunch, we saw an area undergoing excavation. This is supposed to be Magdala, where Mary Magdalene came from.
We are having St Peter’s fish today! The St. Peter’s fish is actually the tilapia.
I spy someone eyeing my food…
On the road, we saw an Israeli army tank! How often does one get to come across such a sight?
Our next stop is Bethsaida, or rather a site where people believe is Bethsaida. Bethsaida means “Fisherman’s House” in Hebrew and it is the birthplace of Peter. Jesus also did many miracles here too. There’s much debate whether if this is the spot because why would this be a fishing village if it’s so far from the sea and if this was the spot that would mean Capernaum would be underwater.
When Pastor Prince shared that when the sick were lined up in the street and they were healed when Jesus walked past them, it was seriously a tad hard to imagine because in my head, I’m thinking the street is as wide as the pavement of Orchard Road. But when I’m here, I totally get it now. :)
A lot of places are still under excavation and I hope the next time I come by, there will be new sharing by the tour guide about these places!
This is the second rainbow we came across as we visited Capernaum. :) Double promise, double restoration I claim in Jesus’ name!
We saw the house of Peter where Jesus stayed with him and healed his mother-in-law of fever (which now has a church built above it), and this is the place where the paralytic man was let down through the roof to be healed by Jesus.
Ruins of a synagogue. In the past, synagogues function somewhat like a community centre and everyone would come together. People would also come to discuss about portions of text from the Torah. The ladies would be on the second floor, segregated from the men on the first floor to prevent.. distraction, heh.
The last stop of the day was the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy. This is where Jesus showed Himself to His disciples in His resurrected form while they were out fishing. Jesus also restored Peter and commissioned him to look after His sheep.
We had a short praise and worship session and broke bread together.
Then we were kinda ‘chased’ out as it was past the opening hours. =(
And here’s one glorious sunset picture to end the day :)