Day 6 - Jesus' Home in Galilee

After five days spent exploring Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, the Jordan River, and the Judean Desert, we said our goodbyes to the Holy City and headed north to Jesus' hometown in Galilee. Nazareth is a bustling Palestinian Christian city today, but was a small, insignificant Jewish village while Jesus was growing up there. When Jesus returned home after his baptism and testing in the desert, not only did the people of his village reject his vision of God's promise for all people, but even his extended family refused to stand with him. It was amazing to see the archaeological remains of first century Nazareth under the beautiful modern Church of the Annunciation and then to see the historically accurate reconstruction of daily life in the time of Jesus at Nazareth Village. After taking in the vistas of the Jezreel Valley from Mount Precipice and pondering the meaning of Jesus' rejection in Nazareth, we went to visit the impressive ruins and mosaics excavated at the nearby cosmopolitan city of Sepphoris, where Jesus and his extended family would have worked as builders. Heading north and east we crested the ridge of Arbel and were greeted with sweeping views of the beautiful lake we call the Sea of Galilee, which will be our home for the next four days!

We left Jerusalem for Galilee this morning. Our first stop was the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

Inside the church, they have preserved the home of Jesus' family.

Then we visited Nazareth Village, a reconstructed version of the Nazareth that Jesus would have grown up in.

At Nazareth Village they do everything in the method of the first century, including farming, raising livestock, woodwork, winemaking, and even weaving!

Then for lunch we went to a nearby vista that looks over both the Jezreel Valley and the city of Nazareth.

After lunch, we headed to Sepphoris, a town that was built during Jesus childhood. He and his father and brothers likley worked here as stone masons.

This is the most finely crafted ancient mosaic in all of Israel. Located in Sepphoris, it is known as the "Mona Lisa of Galilee."