This was our last full day in Israel, and it was a full one.
We said goodbye to Beit Bracha and then headed to the top of the Cliffs of Arbel, which overlook the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes and Tiberias.
I now understand how from this vantage point Jesus could have seen the disciples struggling in the storm on the Sea of Galilee. (Mark 6:46-51). As you can see from the photo on the left, one has a clear view of the Sea Galilee from the Cliffs of Arbel.
From the Cliffs of Arbel we went to the ruins of an ancient Jewish synagogue where Jesus likely taught, then to Sepphori (where Jesus likely worked as a carpenter), then to Nazareth.
At each place Arie helped us gain an understanding of how people in the first century lived so we can better understand what we read in the New Testament.
We then lunched on falafels and Schwarma before visiting Megiddo, a tel with numerous layers of civilization below the surface. This tel was home to the people who worshipped Baal before Joshua conquered the land and then was utilized by Ahab and also by Solomon as a place to store his horses and chariots. The vastness of the plain that stretches out before Megiddo explains why it has been a battlefield in times past.
We ended the day and the sightseeing part of our tour at Mount Carmel, where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal. (I Kings 18). The view is amazing, obscured this day only by some haze. With that, we boarded the bus and headed back to the Yad Hashmona.
This trip to Israel has been an incredible experience. Time will tell how significant an experience it has been for me, as I read the Bible with new understanding.
I didn’t come here with the expectation that the presence of the Lord was more powerful here than anywhere else, and this trip has confirmed that the Lord does not dwell in places built by men but in those who have believed in His Son.
In that respect, Arie Bar David has imparted more than any place. He is a man through whom the love of Jesus shines brightly. I suspect I will remember him as much as any one place, and that is probably as it should be. GS