Morning in Galilee

Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee

Sorting through a cascade of thoughts as I sit here watching the sunrise over the Sea of Galilee, it seems surreal that somewhere out my window Jesus walked on water. One thought has stuck, namely what an important area this was in the ministry of Jesus. Laurie listened yesterday as I relayed all the references to the region of Galilee found in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Reference after reference to the “Sea of TIberias,” “Capernaum,” “Bethsaida,” and other sites line the pages of His Galilean ministry. Later this morning we will turn off at Migdol where Mary “Magdalene” was from, pass near Nazareth, and proceed to Caesarea (Maritima), the coastal town build by Herod the Great in honor of Caesar Augustus. We look forward to experiencing Caesarea, where Paul was imprisoned for two years prior to his journey to Rome to have his case heard before the Emperor Nero.

With my teaching finished in the Old City of Jerusalem and having completed our brief time of ministry in the Golan Heights (north of the Sea of Galilee), now we have our first chance to sightsee, and soak up the significance of this part of the Holy Land. I realize that God could have chosen any time and any place to enter history as a baby in order to bear the sins of world so that we might be united with our Creator. He chose this place, and did so “in the fullness of time “ (Galatians 4:4). The fact is, He did come, and Jesus made it clear that besides giving His life as a ransom, He also was showing us the Father, and revealing God’s plan. Nearly 20 centuries have passed since His ministry, death and resurrection, and Jesus remains the hope of the world. Whether America, Israel, or any place else, the carpenter from Nazareth offers His love and forgiveness to all who call upon Him, and, as some have said so simply, “wise men still seek Him.”

TIberias, Israel
September 27, 2011