The Galilee of Jesus – The Ministry & Message of Our Lord
We arrive in Tel Aviv and take a short ride on our motor coach to Netanya for our first overnight. It is literally on the Mediterranean Coast. You’ll love the welcome you receive, the dinner you enjoy, and your first night in the Holy Land. 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. You will soon discover just how this ancient land actually teaches the Gospel clearly and plainly. In fact, one of the most common expressions for the Holy Land is that it is the “Fifth Gospel.” Indeed, it is true! For example, 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 push him to the top of the precipice? We will let the Bible and the land speak in concert! We will read the story of the Transfiguration at the place of the event itself—on top of Mt. Tabor. We will explore some of the huge biblical themes and lessons from this moment. Why did Jesus meet with Moses and Elijah there? What did they talk about? Over the next days, we will stop in Capernaum, and 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; it is virtually certain that Jesus was there. We will have a communion service on the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, and we will sail on its waters. We will head north to Caesarea Philippi and to the headwaters of the three rivers that roll down the mountains. We will see the majestic Mt. Hermon. We will stand on the exact location where Abraham stood 4000 years ago. After two nights at our 4-star hotel in Tiberius (and plenty of great food), we head south to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem – The Mission & Passion of Our Lord
On Sunday, January 13, we leave the beauty and tranquility of Galilee and head south to Jerusalem. The climate, the scenery, and the terrain of the land all change dramatically. Jerusalem is known as the Eternal City. Cartographers called it the Center of the World, and when you come to see its impact, appeal, history, and complexity, you will know why. Jerusalem is an enigma at so many levels. It’s beautiful beyond description and it is locked in an everlasting tension of faiths, cultures, and people. It is impossible to list day-by-day itinerary of our trip in and around Jerusalem, but we will see much of the city and surroundings over the next five unforgettable days. We will walk the corridors of the Old City, drive the perimeter of the Wall, explore the tunnels and caves, sing in the churches, pray in the streets and at the Western Wall, and worship Him who came to heal and to save. We will come to know the City and pray for it where Jesus wept over it.
We will make a day trip to Bethlehem. We will climb (by cable car!) the cliffs of Masada. We will swim in the Dead Sea and renew our baptism by the muddy Jordan River. We have all heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered at Qumran. We will see the legendary cave and visit the world-famous museum, The Shrine of the Book. And there is much, much more. Early one morning, for example, we will begin to walk the traditional “Way of the Cross” and climb the hill toward Calvary. There stands 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. One day, we will pray together in a private olive garden near the Garden of Gethsemane. 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 fellow travelers on the way will be other pastors, spouses, teachers, seminarians, ministers, and lay people from congregations in the US and Canada.