Monday, November 25, 2013

Israel 2013 - Day 8

The 1st of our final 2 days in Israel were spent touring Galilee. We saw Tel Dan, Casearea Philipi and the Mount of Beattitudes. We even ate St. Peter's fish (tilapia) on the shores of the lake.

It is hard to over-state the importance of "The Galilee" to understanding Christianity... 2nd temple Judaism and the modern history of this land, its people and their relations with the world.

To give you a "yard stick" by which to judge the importance of this part of the land consider this: despite territorial losses in the Sinai and in the north during the Yom Kippur war in 1973, it was only when Israel's grip on the Galilee and its attendant water resources where threatened, that Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Dayan proposed a "demonstration" blast of Israel's long rumoured, never acknowledged nuclear capability. His proposal was was wisely rejected and Israel prevailed over her invaders by conventional means. It is why any discussion of giving up The Golan Heights is called going back to the "holocaust borders".

The Galilee was also of vital importance to Jesus and is of vital importance for those of us that want to understand Him and His message more fully. After his rejection in Nazereth and his cousin John's arrest, Jesus comes to Galilee to continue his ministry. It is there in the Galilee that Christ experience's his widest acceptance... his greatest ministry triumphs... the clearest revelations of his character and identity. That is why is was so great to spend time there this past week meditating on his teachings, worshipping his person and enjoying His presence through the Holy Spirit.