[Mom – September 19, 2019 – It was another wonderful day for us here in Israel. We visited the Sea of Galilee and started with looking at a fishing boat from the time of Jesus that was found and raised from the water in 1986. Next was a visit to St. Peter’s church which was built over his home. We then went to where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. We hoped that did not take place in August or September as it was 102° out today. We came back to Nazareth and visited the church that is built over Mary’s house and the well where the angel came to her and told her she would have God’s Son. We finished our day at the Greek Orthodox Church that also claims to be the site of her receiving this wonderful message!]
As my mom stated in her Facebook post from two months ago, the 13th day of my trip showing them around Israel and Jordan found us driving around the Sea of Galilee, or more precise the northwest corner of Lake Tiberias, Kinneret or Kinnereth as it is also called. A couple things that surprise people about this “sea” is that it is quite small…..Only 8 miles by 13 miles and you can almost always see the opposite shore. Also the “sea” is fresh water and not salt, which is interesting because just 75 miles south is the Dead Sea with a salinity lever of 31%.
The boat my mother talked about is located in the Yigal Allon Centre in Ginosar and truly was lost in the muddy shore for almost 2000 year. Although there is no claim it was used by Jesus or his followers, it is from the same time period and therefor give you a wonderful looking into their lifes.
A quick 10 minute drive northeast brought us to Capernaum where Peter, and several other disciples, are from. I loved how the modern church was built hovering over the house Peter lived in and you can still see the ruins of his house even through the 3-4 remodels of churches over the years. You can also walk among the town ruins, the synagogue, a Greek church, and a Franciscan monastery.
Right around the corner is the Sermon on the Mount, which is actually called The Beatitude Monastery. This was the first time for me to visit this particular church also. All of us were blown away with how beautiful and tranquil the gardens and monastery were. Absolutely wonderful.
Due to everyone running quite late today the other churches in the area closed before we got to visit, but if you are in the area you should check out the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter, which is built over a rock that Jesus anointed Peter as the first Pope and said “upon this rock the church is built”. Also, right next door is Tabgha Church of the Loaves and Fish celebrating the feeding of 4000 people while The Beatitude Monastery celebrates the feed of 5000 with two fish and loaf of bread.
Once back in Nazareth I was excited to take my parent to the Church On The Site Of The Annunciation. This Catholic church was built in 1969 and is the latest to be build over the childhood home of Mary. What I love about this church is that the home was carved into bedrock and was a cave and they have taken the earth away from around the cave and it is now in the center of the church for all to see. Just down the street is Joseph’s house, which would have been Jesus’s childhood home, and nearby is a church at the site of the old synagogue Jesus preached at before they tried to throw him off a cliff.
Fascinating stuff and an absolute joy to show it all to my parents. A slow start to the day, but I think everyone loved every second of it.