Why Capernaum was Our Favorite City to Visit in Israel

Alan and me in Capernaum

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After we left Nazareth, we hopped back on our bus and rode through the ever-so-bumpy streets of Cana. You’ve heard of Cana, where Jesus turned the water into wine?

We didn’t actually stop in Cana. Another destination was on our minds: Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee!!!! Eeeeeee!!!! So excited!!!

That bus ride was so bumpy that my Fitbit credited me with climbing about 200 flights of stairs. Yeah. I earned so many badges. Hahaha! I tried to make it stop. The Fitbit would not listen.

 

Have you ever gone somewhere so incredible that you don’t even know how to begin to tell people about it?

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22 Inspiring Photos of Ancient Tabgha, Where Jesus Performed Miracles

22 Inspiring Photos of Tabgha: Where Jesus divided the loaves, healed the leper, and preached the sermon on the Mount

Look closely to see the olives!

After Nazareth, and before Capernaum, we headed over to Tabgha, to see where Jesus called his first disciples and later performed the miracle of feeding the multitudes with the one basket of bread and fish.

22 Inspiring Photos of Ancient Tabgha, Israel Where Jesus Performed Miracles

If only these bushes would fit in my suitcase…

22 Inspiring Photos of Tabgha: Where Jesus divided the loaves, healed the leper, and preached the sermon on the Mount

Tabgha

This sign below provides a nice overview of what happened here:

I love the historical value here! They had these sites marked from as far back as the days of Jesus, and the mosaics I will show you today were created around 480 AD!!! Y’all! Wow! That’s so long ago!

History and the Bible

People often want to compare Christianity with science, which is baffling because Christianity is not science. Those are two different fields. I mean, yes, I believe God created the world because I look at creation, and I don’t think amazing things like life on earth just happen on their own. I guess in that way it’s related to science.

However, the actual study of the Bible and what happened in it isn’t a scientific topic. That’s history, it’s a historical account, and there is so much evidence to back up the existence of Jesus that whether or not he lived is not even debatable.

In fact, when you consider the humongous cloud of witnesses around the time that the Old and the New Testaments were written, it is nothing but strengthening to your faith.

Now whether or not Jesus was the son of God, that’s a matter of faith, so we could debate that,  but whether or not he walked among us, that’s well documented history.

For more on that topic, see this post.

I regret not stopping longer to soak in just how much happened in this place! That’s the thing about touring. It’s always a hustle to stay with the group, and having lost my group one time already (back in Jerusalem), I wasn’t in a hurry to lose them again.

an olive tree

The list of things that happened here is astounding. Holy ground.

This was our last day in Israel. I didn’t want to leave!!!

Below the altar is the rock where Jesus divided the loaves.

site of the miracle of the loaves and fish–Look at the mosaics in front of the rock. You see the fish? These were created in 480 AD!!

 

I don’t recall if that front right part of the tile that is colored differently was damaged or if that was a mosaic map. I think it’s a map.

As you can see, only portions of this amazing floor survived the test of time.

Some of it has been repaired and restored over the years, but you would not believe how much of this is ORIGINAL!

My mouth hung wide open when he was telling us about this!

From the letters and the types of birds, archaeologists determined that Egyptians created them.

Do you know what this is!!??? Squeeeeaaaaal!!!

That is the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on the water, where Jesus taught from a boat, where the disciples fished!

On my next Israel post, next week, I’ll show you more of the Sea of Galilee and we’ll go into Capernaum. It was our favorite part of the whole trip. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Here are a few more photos, and a few quotes from the famous Sermon on the Mount, preached near Tabgha.

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

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.

 

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.         Matthew 5:1-11

 

It really was the trip of a lifetime! For more Israel photos/stories, see below! To read the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, go here.

Jerusalem: Mount of Olives

Jaffa

Tel Aviv

Nazareth

 

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40 Nazareth Photos: Where Joseph, Mary, and Jesus lived

40 Nazareth Photos

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The Church of the Annunciation



We have 4 posts left in this Israel series: Nazareth, Capernaum, the Sea of Galilee, and What to Wear When Touring Israel.

Today let’s see Nazareth!!

Most signage in Israel is in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, which we were thankful for.

Alan was able to join me for one last day of touring. We could not have been more excited to hop on that bus and head to Nazareth.

This part of the town where the churches are located was a largely Muslim area. There is another part of Nazareth where the Jews live.

My day was off to an uplifting start. Our first stop was a gift shop, where the store manager instructed his employee to give me a special discount for having such pretty blue eyes.

Yes, flattery does work on me. I thoroughly enjoyed the compliment, but I didn’t actually buy anything. I usually count my photos as my best souvenirs.

The Church of the Annunciation, also in Nazareth, had these beautiful murals of Mary with Jesus. Countries from all over the world each sent one.

from France

I don’t know which country this one was from, but I liked it.

Rather than attempt to remember which church was which, since we saw two right next to each other that day, I’m just going to call this all Nazareth.

Why was Nazareth important?

Nazareth is where Jesus lived with his parents after they returned from hiding from King Herod in Egypt.

It is also where Mary received the news that she would bear a son, the child of God, who would be called Emmanuel.

Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”       John 1:46

Did you know that Jesus visited Nazareth twice in his ministry, and was unwelcome both times? In fact, once they tried to stone him there, but he got away.

 

from the United States

“And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples followed him. 2And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?

 

And they were offended at him. 4But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6And he marvelled because of their unbelief.”          ~Mark 6:1-6

The importance of the church of the Annunciation is that it is where Gabriel visited Mary.

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,”              Luke 1:26

where Gabriel appeared to Mary

art from Spain

That’s Nazareth behind me….and an attractive broody looking Latin man…Actually, he was from Texas. He looked that serious all day.

 

heading up the steep hill to see the sights, following behind our tour guide

Y’all, this area is extremely hilly, mountainous, and most of all BUMPY! My Fitbit gave me credit for like 200 flights of stairs. No, I didn’t climb anywhere near that many, but apparently if you ride on an extremely rough road at a slow enough speed, the Fitbit believes you are mountain climbing.

The mountain of the famous SERMON ON THE MOUNT!!!!! Squee!!!!!!

The Sermon on the Mount mountain wasn’t actually in Nazareth. We saw it during the van ride.

You can imagine my dismay when my camera couldn’t handle the strong Israeli outlets. My real camera was my photography tool of choice. I was extra careful to charge it before we left the hotel. The powerful outlet charged it super-fast, but it wasn’t actually charged.

My camera battery died as soon as we reached the churches at the top of the hill. This may sound overly dramatic, but I totally wanted to cry over the fact that the rest of these photos are iPhone quality, indoors. Sad, sad, sadness!!!

This artwork, from Japan, is the most valuable one in the place, made partially with pearls.

 

At each holy site, there were always written prayers and change thrown in there.

The church is built on top of the old village. People actually lived under ground back then to stay cool. This is believed to be the site of Joseph’s stone carving shop.

where Joseph worked

The green light gives it an eery quality, doesn’t it?

This is the modern, Jewish, section of Nazareth.

There are those beautiful bushes again! I saw these all over Israel, and I want one for my yard now.

 

We re-boarded our van and headed for Capernaum. Alan fell asleep, and I tried to sneak a picture, but he caught me.

 

Now he’s just being silly.

 

Sleep tight, Honey. That ride was so rough; I don’t know how anyone could sleep through it.

 

More Nazareth Photos:

I do not recall much more to tell you about these, but I this is what it looked like:

“And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

25And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. 28And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

Mark 1:23-28

 

The next place we went was Capernaum, and y’all, it was our FAVORITE. The synagogue, referenced in the Bible, where Jesus taught and performed miracles, is still there. You can see it.

Yes, there’s a newer synagogue on top of it, which is so old, even it is from the 4th century AD, but they’ve excavated so that you can see the ruins of the entire town from the days of Jesus and his disciples.

Capernaum was the town that was the most spiritually moving to me, and I’m going to tell you all about it. Look for that post next week.

If you want to be sure to not miss it, comment below or send me a message, and I can tag you when I post it on Facebook, or you can also sign up to receive allll my posts, in my sidebar, but I do warn you that I post every week. Ha!!

 

 

Want to see more of my Israel trip? Here are a few of the other Israeli places I blogged about:

Jerusalem: Where Jesus was Crucified

Jerusalem: The Mount of Olives

Tel Aviv

Jaffa: One of the Oldest Seaports in the World

 

 

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