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


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


Tel Aviv





Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa in Pictures

Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

After we left Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, located now within the Church of Holy Sepulchre, we headed down the Via Dolorosa. All day I had the song in the video above in my head. Okay, sometimes I couldn’t help but sing a little of it out loud.

I’m one of those people. I usually have a song in my head that occasionally accidentally comes out for others to hear.

The Via Dolorosa means “the way of suffering.”

Jesus did not get to head down it as we did. He walked UP it, to Calvary, after being brutally beaten by Roman soldiers, and carrying a cross on his back.

So what is the Via Dolorosa?

It is simply the path Jesus took as he carried his cross up the hill to Golgotha, where he was crucified.


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”   (Matthew 27:22-23)


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

26Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.    (Matt. 27: 24-26)


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

Funny story: Alan met this German man on his flight from Sweden to Tel Aviv, and then we ran into him on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem! You never know who you will see again.


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

It’s a beautiful city. I loved these trees, which were everywhere.


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

I don’t know what this pathway looked like back in the days of Jesus. Our tour guide said there were no buildings here then.

These days, in order to trace the Via Dolorosa, you actually have to walk through a Muslim market area.


The video above is our Israeli tour guide talking to us about it. She was outstanding. The video may be hard for you to hear, though, unless you have a device that’s capable of loud volumes.

Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

Station 9 on the Via Dolorosa: I think she said this is one of the places where Jesus fell.

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.   (Matt. 27: 27-31)


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

Station 7 is in an extremely busy area. Actually, pedestrian traffic was high the whole way.


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

Yes, they sell American sports team gear in Jerusalem too. LSU, anyone?


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

Where Simon took the cross.

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.

33They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).   (Matthew 27: 32-33)


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

The lights hung above us remind us that we are standing in a Muslim area, where they were celebrating Ramadan at the time that we were there.

Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

crossing through the Muslim market

Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

We couldn’t get close enough to get a picture of the giant gold-domed mosque. These guards only let Muslims past the stairs.


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

Alan, placing his hand where the legend was that Jesus had stopped and held on to the wall.


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa


Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

And this is us at the security checkpoint to the famous Western Wailing Wall. Yes, we went there too. We’ll talk about that next time!

Jerusalem Tour: Via Dolorosa

crowded street through the Muslim market, overlapping the Via Dolorosa

“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.

46About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,c lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).d   (Matthew 27:45-46)


Back in those days, the Bible wasn’t divided into chapters and verses the way we do today. They named a passage by the first words of that passage. “Eli, Eli, lemsabachtani” is Jesus not only crying out to God, but also referencing Psalm 22.

This part will give you chills, if you stop and realize what Psalm 22 is. It is a promise fulfilled by Jesus:

Psalm 22 is long, but it begins like this:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me,

so far from my cries of anguish?

and it ends like this:

All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;

all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—

those who cannot keep themselves alive.

30Posterity will serve him;

future generations will be told about the Lord.

31They will proclaim his righteousness,

declaring to a people yet unborn:

He has done it!

True. He has done it. Praise the Lord!



Overcoming Evil With Good

Romans 12:21Overcome evil with good

Romans 12:21

This has been an exhausting week, with both Art Camp and Vacation Bible School going on. It’s hard to explain why. It’s difficult to tell you what it’s like to get 4 little boys ready to leave the house 3 times a day, wake up early, and stay up late.

It’s hard to explain why I completely melted down yesterday morning, but I did. Let’s just say I was heavily weighted to the evil side. I can be truly horrid at 5:45 am.

It doesn’t matter what my excuse was. What does matter is that I pulled myself back together, I apologized to Alan, and I learned from my mistakes.

Because that’s what we do. The only way to fight evil (even the evil in ourselves) is with good. The first step is to recognize it, and what usually causes it is just selfishness and pride. Parenting and marriage will work the selfishness right out of you, won’t it?

But some people never get past the whole pride thing. Those people get on my nerves. I mean, because I surely never fall into that category, ahem, *cough* okay yes, I do.

So, as this “overcoming evil with good thing” sunk into my brain today, I thought of ways I could put this into action.

Here’s what I’m going to do to overcome evil today:

1. Be kind to the people around me.

It’s easy. Just bite your tongue sometimes…

2. Leave the house. (Check! Did that one!) Last year I just couldn’t much. I was adjusting. This year I can, and it’s fun. It’s challenging:

“All right! Everybody put on your shoes, and head to the car! Why can I never find JD’s socks? I keep buying socks, and yet all the socks in his drawers are too small.”

“Where are your shoes, Daniel, I don’t understand.”

“They’re on the wrong feet. Here, let me fix them.”

10 minutes later the shoes are back on the wrong feet. He likes them that way. I don’t get it.

“Would someone please buckle Daniel?”

“Well, go get a drink then, but hurry up!”

“No, I don’t know where your Transformer cup is.”

“Yes, get whatever you want, just get in the car!”

“Oh, good, everyone is buckled. Ew. Oh, JD, are you poopy?”

“Yeth. Poop.”

Great. “Okay. I have to run back in and change JD’s diaper. NOBODY move. NOBODY get in the front seat. Caleb, make sure Daniel does not get in the front seat. I should probably make you all get out of the van. Just leave the doors open, and I’ll take the keys with me.”

I change the offensive diaper and come back to …….fighting, of course.

“He pulled on my seatbelt!”

“He hit me!”

“He called me a boron!”

“Now we’re late,” but thankfully most people expect us to be late anyway. If you don’t understand why, then we just aren’t much alike, and that’s okay. The world needs more people like YOU and less procrastinators tripping over themselves like me..

3. Cook supper for Alan.

All week there has been no supper made for Alan because the kids and I were at VBS, and VBS supplies supper for the workers. Alan got home late all week. I figured he’d be fine, but  the man ate pizza 3 out of 4 of those nights, so tonight I’m making him his favorite chicken dish and chocolate chip cookies. (I feel like I should mention that Alan cooks everyone breakfast, everyday. But I guess he doesn’t want to also have eggs for supper.)

See, spreading good doesn’t have to be that hard.

4. Disciplining my children.

You are welcome. That doesn’t mean they will be perfect, but I promise to train them to the best of my ability. We’ve all seen what happens to the kids whose parents don’t bother.

5. Helping at Vacation Bible School

This has been an exciting week. I got to pray with two sweet little girls in Caleb’s group to accept Jesus. I get to answer their questions about God every night. It’s a lot of work, but if it helps even one of them, it’s worth it. (Now, as I said before, I’m not really doing that much. There are people there who are working all day on this. We are thankful!)

6. Giving to Big Causes

America is not the only country in the world. There are a lot of people living in refugee camps or third world countries where just getting clean water is a struggle. Maybe one day I will get to do more than just give money to other people who help, but for now it’s what I can do. I recently learned that I have friends who grew up in refugee camps, that are run by UNHCR, which made me proud to give to that organization. But do you know what organization it was that got my friends out of refugee camps and into America, where they are now citizens?

Catholic Charities. That was a blessing to hear. There are still so many people doing good things, throughout the world: BIG things that make a huge difference to people.

Then of course, there’s Compassion International. I will shout their praises ’till the cows come home. Compassion gives people in need food, education, encouragement, and the knowledge of Christ. They meet the physical needs of the people before trying to meet the spiritual needs, just as Jesus did. If you support just one charity, what a great one to support! With Compassion, you can even go and visit your sponsored child and their family, if you wish.

7. Did I mention I baked my kids cookies?

Full tummies just feel like love. 🙂

8. Spending time loving on my children

I am so privileged that I get to spend all day with my boys. So many people would love to do that and can’t, so I am grateful.


my foot and Caleb’s foot: The big boys are so proud that their feet have almost caught up with mine. I’m just happy that I can check the mailbox wearing their flip-flops.

Now you may laugh and say I haven’t changed the world at all, but I know better. I know that these are better things to dwell on than all of my mistakes. These are better ways to grow love than lashing out at people we disagree with. I’m just going to focus on praising God and seeing what good that I can find to do. Hopefully, in the process, I will also become a better person.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

overcoming evil with good

Teaching Dan how to make biscuits: Hopefully, his future wife and kids will thank me one day. 🙂

You have all spread good just by reading my blog and occasionally even commenting. I feel so far from my family and many of my friends. It’s like a giant hug when I get comments or emails from you. Thank you for this encouragement! I hope you all have a fun weekend.




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