Tag Archives: Capernaum

Sacred Sites

Sacred Sites

Today we visit several sacred sites.  We start with Capernaum, then where Jesus fed the 5,000.  From there we go see a 1st Century boat (like what Peter might have owned), Mount Tabor (the Mount of Transfiguration), and end with some good shawarma.

But first, a good breakfast…

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Kerei Deshe Breakfast

Capernaum

This is where Jesus begins calling his apostles.  This small lakeside village was the place of many miracles.

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A Monk Near the Gift Shop

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The Rules

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At the Entrance of Capernaum

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Our Group on the Shores of Galilee

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The Sea of Galilee

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Linda Putting Her Feet in the Water

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Matt and Becca on the Shores of Galilee

After Capernaum we drove a little west to where Christ would have fed the 5,000 from two loaves and five fishes.  It is also near here where the resurrected Christ came and told Peter to ‘Feed my sheep’.

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Christ Tells Peter to “Feed My Sheep”

John had a great idea.  He brought some bread and pieces of fish.  We partook and thought about that great miracle performed here over 2,000 years ago.

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John Breaks Bread Near Where Jesus Fed the 5,000 with Two Loaves and Five Fishes

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Loaves and Fishes

An Ancient Boat

We saw an ancient boat that dates back to Jesus’ time.  We couldn’t photograph the boat, but here’s a model of what it would have looked like.  All that remains today is a large portion of the hull.  It is preserved in a climate controlled room, and thus, they don’t allow photography in that room.

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Small Model of a 1st Century Galilean Boat

Mt. Tabor

This is a favorite of mine in the Holy Land.  It is here that Peter, James and John went with Jesus.  As Jesus prayed, they were witness to Elijah and Moses appearing and passing on sacred keys.

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The Group on Mt. Tabor

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A Monk Exits the Church

Dinner Time

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Linda Displays Our Bread for Our Shawarma

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Matt and Becca Photograph the Shawarma Toppings

Late Flight

Late Flight

We have a late flight out.  And, since we have a late flight out we plan to see a couple more sites before heading to the airport.  However, we do have to have the car back by 4:00pm local time.

My day started before the sunrise walking on the beach again.  Very therapeutic and peaceful.  It is also very spiritual.

Today I wrote in the sand, “Be Still”, for three reasons.  I love the hymn Be Still My Soul.  Also, when Christ calmed the seas he said, “Peace, be still.”  Finally, the Lord tells us to “be still and know that I am God.”

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Be Still

There are a few places where you can walk and feel the spirit like this.  I’ve listed them in order of my preferences:

  1. Gethsemane (Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens)
  2. The Sacred Grove
  3. The Priesthood Restoration Site (Harmony, Pennsylvania)
  4. The Garden Tomb
  5. Mt. Tabor
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Breakfast

After another great breakfast… we headed to Capernaum – the City of Jesus.  This is where Jesus spent much of his early ministry.  However, they would not believe his words and mighty miracles.

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Capernaum

A large statue of Peter appears here with him holding keys.  While the Christ’s announcement to Peter about the keys of the kingdom took place at Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum was Peter’s home.  Here is where Christ called his apostles and told Peter he would make him a fisher of men.

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Peter

We left Capernaum and headed across the country to Caesarea on the coast.  This is the city where Paul spent time in prison.  It is a beautiful example of Roman architecture in the 1st Century.  What is left of a large aqueduct parallels the beach of the Mediterranean Sea.

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Aqueduct

We exhausted our time at Caesarea and headed to Tel Aviv to return our car.  When we got the the airport, we followed the signs of rental returns but ended up in a parking lot.  As we exited, we pushed the “help” button and asked, “Where do we go to return our rental car.”

A loud outburst of laughter was heard across the speak.  They were probably thinking, “Dumb Americans.”

We eventually found the car return and headed into the terminal.  We were so early they wouldn’t let us check our bags and there we sat and waited for hours.  The funny thing is, it was the start of the Sabbath and most of the concession were closed.  In fact, there were four lingerie shops in a row and all four were closed for the Sabbath.  Something about that just seems comical.

 

Israel Day 8 – The Sabbath Day

Today is the Sabbath Day here in Jerusalem.  Or Sabot (shaw-bot) as they call it.  It is very quiet and the streets are quite empty.  Last night, devout Jews made their way to synagogue.  Their Sabbath will continue until sunset tonight.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.  Likewise, Latter-day Saints here in Israel honor the Sabbath day by going to church on Saturday.  We did likewise and headed to the BYU Jerusalem Center for Sacrament Meeting.

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BYU Jerusalem Center (left) and Old Jerusalem (right)

The building where we attended Sacrament Meeting has these large arches that frame old Jerusalem.  The arch style fits the architecture of the city and the building definitely enhances the Mount of Olives.

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Building Side that Faces Old Jerusalem

We headed in to Sacrament Meeting and there were greeted by several BYU students who are studying there.  It was not a large congregation and is a branch (not a ward).  Today is Fast Sunday, so we got to hear many testimonies.

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Heading in for Sacrament Meeting

For my LDS friends and family… Imagine singing Redeemer of Israel as the opening hymn while over looking the walls of old Jerusalem.  Imagine partaking of the sacrament on the same mount where Christ paid the ultimate price for our sins in Gethsemane.  (Yes, I could look out the windows to my left and see the area near Gethsemane.)

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Looking Towards Gethsemane from the BYU Center

It was a moving and touching experience.

With our luggage in tow, we headed to Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee.

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Capernaum

Capernaum is an important location in the life of Jesus.  It was also the home of Peter.  It was here where Jesus was questioned regarding paying tribute to Cesar.  It was here where Jesus performed many miracles.  It was here that Jesus called Peter, Andrew, John and James.  It was here he cast out the unclean spirits from a man.  But, it was also here that he cursed, as he said,

23 And thou, Capernaum, which art aexalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to bhell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.  24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of aSodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

A fair warning as also given in the Book of Mormon:

14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

Nonetheless, Capernaum was an exciting place to visit.  They have unearthed Peter’s home and, of course, built a church over it with a glass floor where you can look below and see the home.

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Peter and the Keys of the Priesthood

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Synagogue at Capernaum

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The Sea of Galilee

Each cooing dove and sighing bough,
That makes the eve so blessed to me,
Has something far diviner now,
It bears me back to Galilee.

O Galilee, sweet Galilee,
Where Jesus loved so much to be,
O Galilee, blue Galilee,
Come sing thy song again to me.

Each flowery glen and mossy dell,
Where happy birds in song agree,
Through sunny morn the praises tell
Of sights and sounds in Galilee.

O Galilee, sweet Galilee,
Where Jesus loved so much to be,
O Galilee, blue Galilee,
Come sing thy song again to me.

And when I read the thrilling lore
Of Him Who walked upon the sea,
I long, oh, how I long once more
To follow Him in Galilee.

O Galilee, sweet Galilee,
Where Jesus loved so much to be,
O Galilee, blue Galilee,
Come sing thy song again to me.

— Each Cooing Dove (Memories of Galilee) by H. R. Palmer

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Fishermen on the Sea of Galilee

When I walked down to the water, I saw these fishermen.  Being the joker that I am, I wanted to yell out, “Try the other side,” but I didn’t.  It was nice seeing how close they were to the shore.  When you read the scriptures how Jesus yelled out to those in the boat, it is hard to imagine being able to yell loud enough for someone to hear you unless you were close to the shore.  Sure enough, these guys were catching fish close to the shore, and with a boat that small, I wouldn’t venture too far away from the shore.

Yes, the sea (lake… it isn’t that big) was calm.  However, a few hours later, the winds came up and this calm sea turned in to a raging white-capped terror.

Our next stop was the area where the Sermon on the Mount was preached.  These terraced hills were home to one of the most impactful sermons of all time, where Christ taught the beatitudes.

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Sermon on the Mount Area

A church built on the shore is dedicated to the beatitudes.  Beautiful gardens surround this church, and many had come to worship and reflect.  There is a special spirit here.

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Sermon on the Mount Church

Matt pointed out that the beatitudes were given in three parts.  (I looked it up, and it covers three chapters in Matthew.)  Each chapter covers a higher level of teaching and enlightenment.

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Sermon on the Mount Area

It has been a long day, and the sun is about to go down and we began searching for an open restaurant where we could break our fast.  We finally found a “sushi” place that also sold other foods.  I went for the lamb kebabs.  Came dessert time, the sound of this decadent dessert sounded too good to pass up.  Matt and I ended up splitting one.

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Dessert – Waffle with Dolce de Leche, Whipped Cream, Ice Cream and Pecans

We then headed to our hostel where we’ll spend tonight and tomorrow night.  This is a nice, clean place right on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to accommodations on the thrifty side.

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Our Hostel