The Life and Ministry of Jesus
Upon your arrival to the Ben Gurion airport we will drive a luxury motor coach to the Sea of Galilee where we will spend the first three nights at the Scot Hotel in Tiberius. The next two days will be filled with touring and taking in the magnificent Galilean hills, the Sea of Galilee, the old biblical cities mentioned everywhere in the New Testament, modern churches, and ancient sites from the Old Testament and the ministry of Jesus. A full list of our intended itinerary is below, but this trip will not be fast-paced or hurried. We will take our time to take in the fullness where we are! We will go to Nazareth to Mount Precipice where we will take a deep dive into the famous account of Jesus’ first sermon in Luke 4. What did he say? Why did the people turn from admiration to anger and march him to the top of the precipice where we will be? How did he escape and what is the life lesson we can take away from this turning point moment in the life of our Lord? We will let the bible and the land speak. Or, we will recount the story of the Transfiguration on top of Mt. Tabor where it occurred. We will explore some of the big biblical themes and lessons from this moment. Why did Jesus meet with Moses and Elijah there? What did they talk about? We will let the bible and the land speak. Over the next few days, we will stop for visits in Capernaum, the hometown of Jesus. (Why didn’t he stay in Nazareth where he was raised? We will find out!) We will sit on the large stones on the Mount of Beatitudes and read from the Sermon on the Mount. They have discovered an entire small city and first century synagogue nearby where it is almost certain Jesus taught? We will be there, in Magdala. We will be at Tabgha. We will have a very close reading of the last chapter of John’s gospel that both challenges and commissions each of us in our own faith. We will travel north, to Caesarea Philippi and to the headwaters of the three rivers that roll down the mountain. We will see the majestic Mt. Hermon. We will stand on the exact location where Abraham stood 4500 years ago (so few see the Gates of Abraham or know their significance). There are places around Nazareth and the Golan Heights that we will explore together. And in due course, we will stop at an Israeli winery and see the fruit of their labor and enjoy a glass of their award-winning wine. And, as mentioned above, every night we will enjoy the finest of foods and share our thoughts and impressions.
The Power and Glory of Christ
On the way to Jerusalem, we will stop at the amazing seaport and historic site of Acre. It is the place to go to see the history of the land from ancient Greek and Roman times to the modern State of Israel. It is a beautiful seaport with newly discovered ruins; an entire underground city was discovered only recently and is open to us. The lovely sea wall and fine restaurants will make a great stop for lunch, and from there we drive to the Holy City Jerusalem. We may stop for a quick break at Caesarea Maritima or Beth Shemesh or Abu Gosh. But we will be in the Holy City that night for the Sabbath dinner and you will not believe the festive atmosphere of our hotel on this night. We will stay for the next five nights at the luxurious Inbal near the Jaffa Gate. We will be in Jerusalem! The next day will be an easy day of walking and exploring in the Old City and taking time, as we wish to stop and speak to some of the shopkeepers and artists. There is an amazing collection of art and artifacts and souvenirs that tell the story of the people who live there. We will take the time to walk the City walls, touch the Western Wall, and examine the recent excavation at the Western Wall Tunnel, the Robinson Center, and the Southern Steps. We will be dropped off in the early afternoon at our hotel to freshen up. Just after dark we will enjoy a wine and cheese evening on the top of the Notre Dame hotel. The view of the city is stunning. On Sunday, we can worship at Christ Church (Anglican) inside the City Wall, and then head toward the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It has been newly renovated, and it is brilliant with light and color. But the church is also filled with caves and chapels and an incredible history. In the afternoon, there are many options we can explore together, but we will end our day in a private garden near Garden of Gethsemane where we can pray, worship, and rejoice in the work and the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus.
Monday and Tuesday will be our last days together and there is still much to do. We can take the cable cars up to the Mt. of Temptation monastery and see the Kingdoms of the world as Jesus saw them 2000 years ago. We will stop and have a cup of coffee with a Bedouin family, perhaps. Or we can go to the stunning overlook at the Wadi Qelt and see the vast expanse of the Judean wilderness. We can renew our baptisms at the Jordan River. And we have the Nativity Church to explore, too. Back, behind the tourist’s cave, we will tell the story of the first Christmas in an unforgettable way. The moon will be nearly full on these evenings and we will be back in Jerusalem in time to freshen up, enjoy fine dining, and share memories and fellowship together. In every way this will be an amazing trip. The accommodations are first rate. The food is spectacular. Our guide is one of the best in Israel. And our guest speakers will stimulate your mind and deepen your faith and commitment. And I am looking forward to being able to teach from the Bible at many locations throughout the country.