IsraelMiddle East

Israel day 5 – Where did Jesus grow up?

By September 27, 2016 No Comments

Today I woke up in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, as I continued my pilgrimage through of his life and ministry in the Holy Land. My goal with this blog is to help my readers with the planning stage of a trip to Israel and to

Israel - Nazareth - Basilica of Annunciation - Mary's House

This is the Virgin Mary’s house. It is within Basilica of Annunciation.

entertain you with my adventures. Feel free to LIKE svGuidingLight on Facebook so you don’t miss any posts about my travels and to share this blog with anyone you think could benefit from it.

My first stop of the day was at the Basilica of the Annunciation. This is a beautiful church, but it is quite modern having been built in 1969. I know that does not sound that great, but wait until I tell you that it was built around Mary’s house. That is right! There is a grotto in the middle of the church that has the original cave Mary’s family lived in. This church has a second story with a big hole in the middle to look down on the house.

Israel - Nazareth - Basilica of Annunciation - Upper Level

This is the Basilica of Annunciation’s second story. You can see the hole built in the floor to look down on May’s house.

Not only is this Mary’s house but several hundred feet away is St Joseph’s Church where Joseph’s workshop and the house Jesus grew up in is in the basement. Of course the close proximity makes sense since this was a small community and I can imagine Joseph and Mary grew up next to each other and fell in love. Both of these churches are new, but built on the remains of Crusader era churches, which were built on top of Byzantine era churches. In fact, these sites and many of Jesus’s locations have had churches built on them since the middle of the 300’s and oral tradition associated them for the couple hundred years before that.

Israel - Nazareth - Synagogue Church - Jesus Pronounced His Purpose

This is the interior of the Synagogue Church built during the Crusader period to memorialize Jesus pronouncing his purpose

My next stop as I wandered through the old town was Synagogue Church. This is a Crusader era church built on the ruins of the synagogue Jesus would have worshiped in and later the one that he revealed he was the Messiah. Upon hearing this the people of the town carried him off to throw him off a nearby cliff. With that said there is a place called Mount Precipice in Nazareth. To get there you have to walk down the hill from the old town, across the valley, and then climb up the next hill to a point that was not steep enough to do that serious of damage if thrown from it. After talking with some local historians you learn the actual cliff was RIGHT next to the town, because the town folks were very mad and would not have taken the time to carried him down and up to a spot 30 minutes to an hour away. The actual cliff has been swallowed up with the continual growth of Nazareth over the last 2000 years. But the spot across the way, that I walked to, did have a really nice view though.

Israel - Nazareth Village - Weaver

At the Nazareth Village they have actors in period clothing doing period activities and here we have a weaver making her own yarn.

My last stop in Nazareth was to visit Nazareth Village, which is a recreation of Nazareth in the first century and gives you a better understanding of life during Jesus’s childhood. It is really helpful for your understanding and appreciation of his life and ministry. Plus, not all of it is a recreation since they have found the remains of an olive press and a few of the olive trees are 400 years old. Among the scattered village are people dressed in period clothes and doing period activities like sheepherding, carpentry (I wonder who this could be), weaving, olive pressing, ect. My guide was very informative and entertaining and I HIGHLY recommend you go when you are here.

Israel - Nazareth Village - 400 Year Old Olive Tree

I want to show you this olive tree for two reasons. 1) I had never seen an olive tree and 20 this one is over 400 years old.

By this point in the day, I had to rush to make sure I was on the 16:45 bus to Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Since this is Friday, if I missed the bus I would be stuck because the buses do not run during the Sabbath. If you come back on Thursday I will give you my impression of the Sabbath and the Sea of Galilee along with the sites I visited and my experiences crossing the board to Jordan.

Israel - Nazareth Village - Donkey

This one month old donkey colt was so soft and cuddly.

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