Sunday, July 14, 2013
After our boat ride, we drove inland off the Sea of Galilee into a valley. A passageway called the “via Maris,” which means “the way of the sea”, was part of an ancient trade route through the valley and dates back to the 1st century. In the surrounding mountains and cliffs, there are tons of caves where zealots lived. Zealots were political rebels; nomads who traveled the land. This valley would have likely been the route Jesus would have taken when traveling from to and from Galilee. It definitely wasn’t like any other terrain we saw. There were cattle and goats along the valley as well. Andre told us their shepherd was probably nearby. Oh, here’s a cool fact. You know when you see drawings of shepherds from Bible times or figurines in a manger scene, and the shepherd has a sheep draped across his shoulders. Well, you also know the parable of the lost sheep? That the shepherd will leave his flock in search of one lost sheep. When a young lamb wanders from the flock, the shepherd has to go look for him (because the shepherd knows the safe routes to travel and he leads his sheep that way). If the lamb continues to wander, then the shepherd will break the lambs’ legs and carry it for a few weeks until the lamb heals. At that point, that lamb will follow that shepherd for life. The parable of the lost sheep makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it? It’s amazing the little things you learn about Israel and the lifestyles during the early centuries and how much more the Bible makes sense 🙂
We wrapped up day one with a trip to the southern part of Galilee to the Jordan River. The Jordan River feeds into the Sea of Galilee from the north and continues south into the Dead Sea. John the Baptist lead much of his ministry along the Jordan river, baptizing the people of Israel in its waters. Jesus himself was baptized in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-16). And today, there are baptisms every day in the river.
After the Jordan River, we headed back north towards Tiberius (where our hotel was). We stopped at a street market for just a bit along the Sea of Galilee and then had dinner back at the hotel. It was a busy first day in Israel!
Oh quick funny story. Our first day waking up in Israel we didn’t set an alarm (our phones weren’t set to Israel time and our tour guide kept talking about us “having a 6:30 wake-up call” like he had already set it up). Well, he hadn’t. We were supposed to. So at 7:30 when we didn’t show up for breakfast, one of our friends came knocking on our door! We were supposed to be on the tour bus at 8am! So THEN, during my rush to get ready, I plugged my hair-dryer into the adapter we had bought (for the crazy European outlets), started drying my hair…..and then POW!!! Hair-dryer and all the power in our room completely blew! Lesson learned….you also must have a voltage converter in other countries. Otherwise you will blow your appliances with most countries’ 220-volts trying to run through most of our 120-volt gadgets. Needless to say, I didn’t blow dry my hair much the rest of the week 😉