2/26/16

The Sea of Galilee and The Jesus Boat #travel #VisitIsrael

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The only disappointment I had during my week-long trip to Israel was that the waters in the Sea of Galilee were too choppy for us to sail, but there is so much to see and do in Israel that I got over it quickly. Even Jesus and his disciples had to deal with rough waters in the Sea of Galilee:

Matthew 8 23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! 

The same event is also recorded in Mark 4 36-41.
Before venturing out to see the shore, just around the corner from our hotel in Ginosar, we stopped in the Bet Yigal Alon Museum (mapped a couple of photos down), to view the remains of a recently excavated fishing boat that dates back 2000 years. This archaeological find in a freshwater sea is what I would call a miracle. Given its age, Jesus could have actually been in this boat!
The accompanying video shows that a couple of brothers (who were fishermen) discovered it one day in 1986, when they were out walking along the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The receding shoreline revealed a part of the boat during a severe drought. When they discovered it, a double rainbow appeared in the sky!
The video shows the painstaking process of removing it from the lake without damaging it and the process to preserve it for future generations. It measures over 25 feet long and could hold a crew of five, plus up to fifteen others. The boat was constructed by first building the outer planks, then inserting the inner framework, which is opposite from the process of how boats are built today.
The Sea of Galilee is actually a very large freshwater lake, measuring 64 square miles. It is also the place where Jesus walked on water.

Mark 6 45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. 46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. 47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. 48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

The event is similarly recorded in Matthew 14 22-33, which also includes the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus.
Bethsaida, the location mentioned in the Book of Mark, is located along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, but there is some question as to whether Bethsaida was located on the northeastern shore at Et-Tell or further south at El-Araj. Regardless, the event occurred at the Sea of Galilee. The Bible mentions boats as a part of Jesus' life fifty times in the Gospels.
Since I'm nearly always behind the camera, I did make an effort to occasionally hand my camera over to the other two journalists traveling with me, so I would have proof that I was actually in Israel. Below are Erik Tryggestad with The Christian Chronicle (on my left) and Cory Whitehead with Christianity Today (on my right).
The scenery around the Sea of Galilee was absolutely beautiful. Imagine, I could be standing on the very spot on the ground where Jesus stood! I took about 100 photos at this stop on our itinerary and shared some of my favorites below. Enjoy!






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2 comments:

  1. Your trip reminds me of one of my favorite James. Michener books, The Tell Makor I think it was called. You should read it. Love all the photos this blog today.

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    1. Sounds like a good birthday present!!

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