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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Shopping and Shedding Pounds in Tel Aviv

My fit friend Julie. It was like Israel boot camp, but I could not have asked for a better person to tour with.

When I talked to Julie the week before our big trip, she mentioned that she enjoys walking, and she hoped to walk everywhere in Tel Aviv.

“Perfect, I love walking!” I said.

But then, as I got to know Julie better, I began to realize we weren’t exactly on the same level with the physical fitness. Yeah, she walks, and she runs, and she exercises.

She’s what we call fit. Super fit. I’m what we call….not fit.

My gut closely resembles this Israeli statue…

 

He’s cute, isn’t he?

I could not have found a better person than Julie to tour Tel Aviv with. We were already acquainted well enough that I felt comfortable with her, and yet we were new enough of friends that there was no arguing. Ha!!!

Besides, Julie is awesome. She is laid back, intelligent, sensible, down to earth, and an excellent conversationalist, which is perfect because I often have a super hard time thinking of what to say. She also was better than me with figuring out where we were and how to get where we were going, which is important in a foreign country!

Go ahead and laugh. You know I have no sense of direction. And maybe you THINK I talk a lot, but inside I’m working hard to think of all those words.

This is the street in Tel Aviv that runs along the beach.

Tel Aviv Boot Camp

We had a routine that worked well. Breakfast and supper were free at our hotel, so that was what we ate. We had a late breakfast, skipped lunch, and then there was 4:00 tea time at our hotel, with snacks. Then there was dinner at 6pm.

So yeah, we just skipped lunch everyday. We didn’t save any calories though. They fed us so well at the hotel, we weren’t even hungry at lunch.

 

Tel Aviv Beach

Alan and I did a little walking on the beach together too.

The Shopping

You know I’m thrifty, and Julie is too. I’m so easily influenced by who I’m hanging out with! I didn’t buy all that much, but we did walk around tons of shops and markets.

We went into Israel expecting to barter for everything. People had told us we would need to barter, and yet, that was not what we found. Maybe it’s just different in Tel Aviv, but most everywhere we went the shop owners and workers said, “No, we don’t do that here. It’s just one price.”

I bought these Coca-Cola in Hebrew shirts for my 2 biggest boys.

I scored this entire outfit at the Shuk for only $100 shekels…That’s like $35!!

Funny story:

First of all, several different people asked Julie and me if we were from Germany. ???!!?? Germany? No! America!

I found that odd, kind of funny, but also sad, considering Israel’s history with Germany.

But the funny story was the sales guy we met at the Shuk, where I bought that exercise outfit.

He was an unusually friendly young Jewish man, probably around 24 years old, a cute, small guy. What I didn’t realize at first was that he actually lives in Miami, but he was in town for an event and helping his dad in their store that day.

“Where are you from?” he asked us, after explaining the day’s sales to us.

Each time people asked, I found myself not knowing what to call our country. Isn’t that hilarious? United States of America is sort of a mouthful. So sometimes I said America, and sometimes I called it the U.S. or the United States.

That was not a sufficient answer for anyone that asked. Every single questioner actually wanted to know what state we were from.

I move every 2 to 3 years, so my new policy is to be from wherever I currently live.

This particular sales guy laughed when I said “America,” and said, “Well, yeah, I know, I mean I didn’t think you were from Germany!”

Julie and I looked at each other, mystified. Well, the rest of the country seems to think we are from Germany, and even this guy referenced it, so clearly their history left scars.

But he knew we lived in the States because he’s been living in the U.S. himself for several years.

 

We bought this from an arts and crafts fair in downtown Tel Aviv.

So we explained to the sales guy where we were from. He said to Julie, “You look like a runner!” Then they talked about running and swimming…Funny…no one ever asked me what sport I participate in……hahahahaha…

I was shopping for a cute exercise outfit, so I picked up Larges, but I’m usually borderline on sizes, so I was glancing around for a fitting room.

“Oh, you don’t need a large!” this sales guy had all the answers…”This stretches, see? You need a medium.”

Flattering, but I actually didn’t even need to try on the pants. I’m 5 foot 6 with enough hips for all 3 of us standing there. I require the large, and I’m thankful I didn’t take his advice.

Shirts are a different story. I have to try on every shirt I buy.

There I was, in a foreign country, trying on a shirt, in a storage closet, in an outdoor market area (The closet had walls. The store did not.), with Julie standing guard in the OPEN doorway, with the super talkative young sales guy, waiting outside the closet. He was waiting to “snap a photo (of me) and put it on Facebook.”

Laugh. Out. Loud. “Yeah, you are not putting this on Facebook.”

I was in such a hurry to be done with the process that I bought the shirt, without being sure if it fit well or not because I didn’t want to look in the mirror long enough for him to get a Facebook photo.

Why do I care about him taking my picture? I’m a blogger for crying out loud. Yeah, well, I’m a vain blogger who carefully crops out all chubby bits before posting pictures online, and me in a spandex work-out tank? No way was I putting that out there.

That sales guy was hilarious. He talked to us all the way out of the store, as we left, and invited us to come back and see him tomorrow.

I never did make it to the Dead Sea, but I did buy this soap at the craft fair, which was made from Dead Sea Mud.

Gotta love mud.

This was another character that we met.

 

Okay. Sorry it’s all mirror-backwards, but look how hard it is to read a receipt in Hebrew and shekels!!! If it weren’t for the numbers, we wouldn’t even know it was backwards.

That receipt was from a group dinner. Don’t worry. We didn’t spend anywhere near that much.

 

Ah! I can’t wait to go back someday.

 

P.S. I lost 3 pounds.

 

At the Dizengoff Center, a shopping mall exactly like you’d find in America, I found MY store. Yep. April is a cosmetics store.

Julie and I averaged about 9 miles a day, over 20,000 steps. We were sweat-soaked each day when we made it back to our hotel room. If you go for a week, you need to pack like 14 outfits.

By the time the trip was over, I had definitely built up my endurance. I’ve been sure to get in at LEAST 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise everyday since we got back, so this trip was a grand success, in more ways than one!

Be sure to check out my last post on Tel Aviv to learn more about this bustling city!

 

Jerusalem Pictures Part 2: Golgotha, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre




Welcome back to the Jerusalem tour. I can’t wait to take you to Calvary, also known as Golgotha!

Where did we leave off? Ah yes, walking through Old Jerusalem.

strolling through the Jewish Quarter of Old Jerusalem

outside view of Old Jerusalem. Everywhere you go there’s a mosque (that tall tower where they shout out prayers). This particular one was not in use, but many of them are.

This view is looking out, over the ruins of the old wall from Solomon’s times.

Imagine our surprise, going through the narrow Zion gate, to see a couple of cars driving through it!

It’s all very close together.

In Part 1, we saw the Mount of Olives and entered Old Jerusalem. The first thing we saw there was the Upper Room and David’s Tomb.  Let’s stroll on over to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre now. This church sits on top of the site where Jesus was crucified.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

This one church houses the site of the crucifixion, Golgotha (the rock shaped like a skull), the tomb of Jesus, the stone where they washed the body of Jesus, among other relics and stories and art work centered around the crucifixion.

There are also several active church denominations that have their services at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

You may wonder how they know this is the place or how accurate this could actually be. Alan and I certainly did.

…And the answer it is that it appears to be surprisingly well backed by archaeological evidence.

How? For one, they began constructing this place in 326 AD.That’s less than 300 years after the fact.

Various other sites have been considered over the years. However, according to my Crossway study Bible info-graphic on page 2066 and 2067, excavations were conducted below the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the 1960s.

Do you know what they found when they dug?

They found “an isolated mass of rock in the middle of an extensive quarry,” as well as rock-cut tombs from the first century, AD. That’s good news.

Where was Jesus crucified? On a rock called Golgotha, meaning place of the skull.

To make it even more interesting, did you know that old Jewish tradition and early historians say that the skull of Adam (as in THE Adam, the first man) is preserved in this hill, indicating that it wasn’t simply a rock that looked like a skull, but also the place where the skull of an important ancestor of mankind is buried. (Crossway Bible, 2001)

Okay, so that last part may be more of a legend, who knows, but I loved that the archaeological evidence DOES indicate that Golgotha is indeed where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre sits.

There is another site outside Jerusalem that claims to be the tomb of Jesus, but archaeological research proved that particular tomb to be too ancient to have been a new tomb at the time of Jesus’s crucifixion.

 

Repairs are needed, but there are so many different groups that use this building that they cannot agree on how to make the repairs, so nothing changes.

See the ladder to the window above the right (sealed off) archway? That’s where the Armenians had to get into the church many years ago. No one needs the ladder now, but these groups cannot even agree on whether or not to move the ladder.

This building, which is centric to all of Christianity, as it marks the site where Jesus died for mankind, is the perfect example of the problem with the Church today.

We should all be one church, not arguing over menial, unimportant details, but instead we are divided. And what happens to a house divided against itself? Well, it cannot stand.

That wasn’t just Abraham Lincoln that said that. He was quoting Jesus. (Mark 3:25)

bells of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

This is the place!!! This is the site where Jesus died for ALL mankind.

As divided as we are, God can still use us, but how much greater our ministry would be if we were united!! United by Christ!

 

Jerusalem Pictures Part 2: Golgotha, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

This display marks THE spot where the crucifixion took place. Because the scene (in the photo above) looks drastically different than what it did way back in the first century, A.D., it’s hard to really feel like you are there, even when you are there.

There were people who were falling all over themselves, trying to touch the rock in this spot. But with the crowds, being indoors, and the noise, and so much competing for my eyes’ attention, it was hard to focus.

It is worth visiting. Only know that it’s very tourist-y.

But then, how could it not be? People all over the world have experienced major heart and life changes from the gospel message. God loves you where you are. Jesus died to pay the price for all of our sins. Faith. Hope. Love. We need only believe. Naturally, thousands of people a day are going to visit this place where it happened.

I’m actually surprised there aren’t MORE people there.

I think that’s largely because we have this misconception that it’s not safe in Jerusalem, but I can assure you, I felt perfectly safe.

stairway up to Calvary

steep stairs

See the glass bottom to the left? That is protecting THE spot of the crucifixion.

Alan took the photo above. I actually didn’t even see that there was rock under the glass like that until I saw these pictures.

Look at the bottom, at the people kneeling. They are kneeling over the washing stone, where they washed the body of Jesus.

I did take a moment to rub the stone. The actual stone is under a stone that they put on top of it to preserve it, but still!

 

I always feel like art work tells the story better than anything else.

 

Me, near the washing stone. I don’t know how it happened that everyone else is blurry but me, but it had a neat effect.

inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

That big cube-like structure with the turret at the top marks the spot of the tomb of Jesus. He is not in the tomb. He is risen.

 

the dome ceiling

One of the most exciting parts—Golgotha!!! This is the actual rock of the skull!!! Many people in early years took chunks home as souvenirs, so now it sits behind glass. I got chills looking at this.

Golgotha, from a distance

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

19Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS             John 19:16-19

In the square, you see splits in the rocks.

The Bible says that when Jesus gave up his spirit, there was a great earthquake. Here you can see damage from that earthquake.

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

 

54When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”                           Matthew 27:50-54

 

 

the washing stone

memorial of the tomb

In a chapel off to the side, we found these sculptures. I thought they were a powerful telling of the story.

Today the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is run by Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians, and Ethiopians, perhaps even more denominations than that, but do you know who holds the keys? This man and his family.

The key to Christianity’s most holy site actually belongs to a Muslim family.

They open the doors each morning to let the Christians in. Isn’t this fascinating?

Each year giant candles are lit in honor of the resurrection at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on Easter Sunday. One year, while the people were gathered to light the candles and celebrate the resurrection, this column, made completely of marble, spontaneously burst into flames, at the bottom here.

So many mixed emotions in the Holy Land.

1.) I am in awe to be standing where Jesus and his disciples, and Mary, and David stood.

2.) I am baffled at our lack of unity.

In the book of John, chapter 17, Jesus prayed:

20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

 

Previous Israel Posts in this series:

No, I couldn’t possibly go to Israel next week.

Mount of Olives

Don’t want to miss out on any future Israel stories or pictures?? Join my newsletter!

 

 

 

 

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