Day#4 -Mary Magdalene's Home Town Discovered
Today was our fourth day in Israel. It was another busy day. Barry Keiser operates with the 6-7-8 rule:
Wake up at 6 am.
Eat breakfast at 7 am.
Leave at 8 am.
Sea of Galilee
Today we spent the day around the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is of significant importance in re-tracing the footsteps of Jesus during His earthly ministry. About 60% of His ministry was done around the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He spoke over half of his parables while ministering around the Sea and performed most of his miracles here. The Sea of Galilee is 13 miles long and approximately 7 1/2 miles wide at the northern end. It's about 32 miles in circumference. It is one of Israel's only sources of fresh water. And, at 650 feet below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater body of water in the world. It is called the "Sea of Tiberias," "Sea of Galilee," and the " Lake of Gennesaret." There have been a lot of changes to the Sea of Galilee over the past two-thousand years. First, multiple, devastating earthquakes have changed the topography. Also, the Sea of Galilee is the main source of fresh, drinking water for thousands today. All that to say, the Sea of Galilee is smaller now than it used to be.
The Mount of Beatitudes
This is the traditionally accepted location at which Jesus delivered the greatest sermon ever preached, "The Sermon on the Mount." We can't be certain. However, Christians began gathering for worship at this location as early as the second century, and no one really disputed that this was the location. The Sermon on the Mount famously begins with the eight beatitudes or "blessings." The Mount of Beatitudes is located on the Western shore of the Sea of Galilee, near Chorazin.
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This is the slope that many believe was where Jesus spoke the Sermon on the Mount:
Reading the Beatitudes at the Mount of Beatitudes:
A Triangle of Cities Christ Cursed: In Matthew 11:20-24 and Luke 10:13-14, the Lord Jesus condemns these three cities (Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum) that formed a triangle on the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. In fact, these three cities have been called "the evangelical triangle," because so much of Jesus' teaching and miracles occurred here.
Chorazin or Korazim
Chorazin is just north of the Mount of Beatitudes. Evidently, Jesus did a lot of ministry and miracles at Chorazin. However, He says that if the works that had been done in Chorazin by Jesus had been done in ancient Tyre and Sidon, they would have "repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes." (Matthew 11:21-22) The ancient remains of Chorazin indicate that it was a prosperous village.
A Purification Bath in Chorazin.
In Matthew 23:1-3, Jesus referred to "Moses' Seat." It was where the reader of the Torah in the synagogue sat to deliver his message to the congregation. In 1926 archaeologists discovered one of "Moses seats" in Chorazin.
The Synagogue in Chorazin:
Unfortunately, Bethsaida was closed today and we were unable to visit. Hopefully, we will be able to go tomorrow. "Bethsaida" means "house of fishing." It was where the Jordan river fed into the Sea of Galilee. Bethsaida was where Jesus healed a blind man. (Matthew 11:20-22) Jesus fed the five thousand near Bethsaida. (Luke 9:10-17) And, Bethsaida was the hometown of the apostles Peter, Andrew, and Philip.
Capernaum was an important trade route. It was where Jesus ministered often. Peter, Andrew, James and John were all from Capernaum. Matthew was also a tax collector from Capernaum. Kfar Naḥum means the "town of Nahum." Peter's home is here, with remains of the city and a big synagogue.
Lunch at Capernaum!
The New Testament speaks of Mary Magdalene. Magdalene was not her last name. "Magdalene" meant she was from Megalda-Mary from Megalda. For hundreds of years, there was a general idea of where the ancient village was located. However, in 2006 excavations discovered the city. An ancient synagogue and purification baths have been located there. It is the oldest synagogue found in Galilee
The Amazing Discovery of Magalda, Mary Magdalene's Hometown:
The Seat of Galilee...60% of Christ's Earthly Ministry Happened along these shores:
Please join us here tomorrow as we continue around the Sea of Galilee!