Tour Journal For North Coast Church In Depth Israel Study Tour May 14-26, 2013

Day 7 – Might and Grandeur

Day 7 – Might and Grandeur

Today we witnessed more significant places in the bible. On the way to Nazareth we drove through the city of Cana. Jesus performed his first miracle here by turning water into wine. The city is not very pretty. Ronin, our tour guide spoke about Jewish weddings and customs. Wine was a big part of every event that happened in a Jewish community and it reminded me of San Diego and how wine has permeated our culture there. We drove past the old Nazareth, but we didn’t stop or see any ruins so it is much like it was 2,000 years ago… nothing to see. Only 200 people lived there in the time of Jesus.
We arrived at the peak in the hills of Nazareth.

The very peak where the people of Nazareth drove Jesus intending to throw him off and stone him for saying he was equal to God. The incredible view is of the Jezreel Valley. The most strategic area of Israel, where the trade routes running North and South connect to the only place where you can move an army East and West without going over mountains.

Our next stop was the place where one of my favorite stories in the Bible occurs, a place where God shows his mighty power over nature and shows King Ahab who the real king of Israel is. The place is Mt Carmel. After God stops the rain for three years he sends Elijah to take on the priests of Baal. Baal is the god of weather and he hasn’t shown up for three years so God calls him out in front of all the people in a showdown. Chris recounts this story as we all sit on rocks around him in a makeshift theater with the valley as the backdrop.

We then drive to the coast for a city Herod built to be the jewel of his kingdom but modestly named it after the Emperor in Rome. It was a city of magnificence and grandeur. The Theater is in such good condition it is still in use today. In fact a well-known Christian author and speaker was giving a talk on stage as we walked by. We all walked out to where Ronin was standing by a stone tablet that was discovered in the city. The stone contained the name of Pontius Pilate, who until now had only been mentioned in the Bible. We walked further and were confronted with the ruins of Herod’s palace. Fifteen years ago it was under water. Herod had it built to be his main palace. It not only was built on the coast but it actually extended in to the sea with a fresh water swimming pool surrounded by the gorgeous blue water of the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the original mosaic tile flooring is still there.

I am not able to describe how magnificent the scene is. Did I mention it was late in the day and the sun was low on the horizon over the Mediterranean? We searched the beach and serf for chunks of marble that once were part of Herod’s palace. After a slice of watermelon we boarded the bus and headed for the holy city of three religions.

Wrap up day 7

Chris talking about Caesarea

Today's Photos

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