We spent another day in Galilee enjoying the fantastic beauty of this place and exploring more historical and holy sites. We started the day off by visiting the Yigal Alon Museum where the ancient Galilean Boat is housed. This 30 foot long fishing boat dates to precisely the time of Jesus and is the type of boat Jesus and the disciples used. Two members of a local Kibbutz stumbled across this one of a kind discovery and after a decade of special treatments it was finally ready to be displayed as we see it today. Standing around the boat we could imagine Jesus and the disciples out on the lake while he calmed the storm, walked on the water, told them to let down their nets on the other side, and asked Peter to let him speak to the crowds from his boat.
We walked straight from seeing this ancient boat and boarded a modern boat to take our own trip on the lake. We had a great time sailing on the calm waters of Galilee and seeing some of the sights we have visit from a different perspective. We also received a demonstration of net casting and were led in a rousing Israeli folk dance by our enthusiastic captain who is the seventh generation of an extended family of Galilean fishermen.
Disembarking we made our way up the hill to Chorazin, a prominent first-century city prominent first-century city where Jesus taught and ministered regularly. we visited the ancient synagogue there and a walked the streets on which Jesus and the disciples would have walked.
We also visited the huge extended family home located next to the synagogue. This house included an extraordinarily large central courtyard surrounded by fourteen different rooms which would have housed nearly that many nuclear families. There Mike Breen taught on the meaning of Jesus' promise that in our Father's "house" (oikos) there are many rooms and he is going to prepare a place for us. He explained how Jesus' redefinition of the extended family on mission became the primary vehicle by which the disciples of Jesus multiplied and changed the world. We marveled that God would choose to make us members of his extended family and that we get to enjoy all the benefits of belonging to his oilkos both now and forever!
From Chorazin we headed east and visited Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter, Andrew, and Philip where Jesus also taught and healed. We saw another fisherman's extended family home and got a clearer picture of the setting in which the followers of Jesus learned how to function as an extended family on mission for God's Kingdom. From there the rest of the group went back to relax at our guesthouse on the lake while Luke and I returned to the cliffs of Arbel to climb down into the ancient caves where Herod the Great fought to establish his cruel rule over the people to whom Jesus ministered.
After dinner we enjoyed a lovely evening of worship and prayer ministry time on the rooftop deck overlooking the lake while a warm wind blew through our midst. We are sad to be checking out of our guesthouse on this beautiful lake tomorrow as we head north to Casarea Philippi and then back south to the city of Jerusalem. Thanks for for all the prayers and encouragement as we continue to follow in the footsteps of Jesus ...