Day 12 - Jesus' Healing & Teaching in Jerusalem

For most of the week leading up to the tumultuous final events of Jesus' life on earth, he and the disciples were staying with the extended family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany and would walk over the Mount of Olives each day to spend time in the huge Temple courtyards, where Jesus was teaching, healing, debating with the religious leaders, and engaging with the crowds. We spent the twelfth day of our journey exploring the massive precincts of Herod's mind-boggling Temple Mount and took an exciting trip via subterranean tunnels to the Pool of Siloam where Jesus sent the formerly blind man to wash. We had the opportunity to examine the gigantic outer walls and gates of the Temple Mount which constituted the greatest engineering achievement of the ancient world. We explored the extensive archaeological excavations that have illuminated many details of the Temple from the time of Jesus and took a trip through the long underground tunnel underneath the Muslim Quarter that exposes the entire Western Wall to modern visitors. After a delicious Arabic lunch under ancient stone arches, we headed to the south end of the original City of David where some of our group braved the 3/4 mile long tunnel dug by King Hezekiah in the 7th century BC to protect Jerusalem's water supply. We all met up where Hezekiah's Tunnel empties the water of the Gihon Spring into the ancient Pool of Siloam where Jesus sent the blind man to wash the mud from his eyes and he came back seeing. To top it all off, we returned to the Old City via a recently discovered water drainage tunnel that ran underneath the very street this formerly blind would have used to return to the city to tell the good news of Jesus' healing! Tonight we are going out on the town for a little Jerusalem nightlife....

Examining the first century stepped streets that led down to the Temple Mount.

Standing on the first century streets of Jerusalem looking up at the massive stones of the southwest corner of the Temple Mount, probably the place the devil tempted Jesus to jump from to gain the admiration of the crowds.

We climbed this huge staircase which leads up to the tunnel entrance onto the Temple Mount. Jesus and the disciples certainly climbed this staircase on their way to and from the Temple. 

In the underground Western Wall Tunnel we got to see this gigantic stone which Herod's engineers cut 45 feet long, 12 feet high and 12 feet thick, weighing 620 tons!

Walking through Hezekiah's Tunnel is not for the claustrophobic or the faint of heart!

We returned to the city via the recently discovered Herodian drainage channel underneath the street leading down to the Pool of Siloam.

We excited the drainage channel into yet another massive archaeological excavation uncovered by a modern building project in Jerusalem!