Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 10, 2019

Where Jesus Walked

I have returned to the land where Jesus walked — this time with more than seventy students and adults. We are on a pilgrimage of sorts, here to learn about the context in which our biblical worldview unfolded.


There is something powerful about a pilgrimage. Being onsite impacts insight. The stories in the Bible happened in an actual geographical, historical, and cultural context. Understanding the context in which the stories recorded in the Scriptures happened is eye-opening and affirming.


We began our pilgrimage at the Sea of Galilee. The ancient rabbis used to say, “Jehovah hath created seven seas, but the Sea of Galilee is His delight.” Most of the ministry of Jesus happened in and around the shores of this lake that lies almost 700 feet below sea level. He performed many miracles here.


Capernaum, the place Jesus chose as His base of operations when He began His ministry, was our first stop. Both Matthew and Mark referred to this town as Jesus’ home. And yet, the people of Capernaum did not accept Jesus’ messianic role. They failed to embrace who He is and why He came (read Matthew 11:23-24). Like the people of Capernaum, many people today miss Jesus.


After walking among the ruins of Capernaum, we traveled by boat across the Sea of Galilee to Tiberius. From the middle of the lake we could see most of the places where Jesus conducted His earthly ministry. We also enjoyed a time of worship and sang songs about the beauty of Jesus.


After a visit to Caesarea Philippi, we continued our adventure by rafting on the Jordan River. But best of all, we conducted a baptismal service at the Jordan River. When John baptized Jesus, God spoke and affirmed His love for His Son. After His baptism, Jesus retreated to the wilderness where He was tempted. After the baptism came the battle and after the voice from heaven came the roar from hell.


Our adventure of discovery also took us to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. The Old Testament book of 2 Chronicles identifies this location as Mount Moriah (3:1), the place where Abraham had been willing to offer Isaac (Gen. 22:1-14). While in this area we also learned about the various gates around the Temple Mount.


While in Jerusalem we visited the Garden of Gethsemane. The olive trees at the Garden of Gethsemane are old — so old, in fact, that they may actually date back to the time of Jesus. The Garden of Gethsemane is the place where Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss and where Peter cut off the right ear of Malchus, the slave of the high priest.



Our students also visited and prayed at the Church of All Nations which claims to be built atop the site where Jesus prayed on the night before His crucifixion. This was an emotional stop for many of our students, a reminder that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.


Our visit to Bethlehem was a highlight. We visited the Shepherd’s Field and also walked to the top of the Herodium, Herod’s magnificent palace. From that high vantage point we could look down toward the humble place of Jesus’ birth. We visited the Church of the Nativity and sang O Holy Night at this place where tradition says Jesus was born.


Jericho is regarded as the oldest city on the planet. It’s also the place where walls came tumbling down as Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land and where Jesus ate a meal at the home of a tax-collector named Zacchaeus. This remains a fascinating site rich in history. We had a great time exploring the ancient tel at this location.



Today, our students hiked to the waterfalls of Ein Gedi, stood atop Masada, and floated on the Dead Sea. They learned about the refreshing living water of Ein Gedi, the remarkable and heart-breaking story of the Jews who made a last stance against the Romans atop the fortress of Masada, and enjoyed floating on the Dead Sea.


Our adventure continues. So much more to see and do in this remarkable place. We are taking advantage of every moment to deepen our understanding of our worldview. My prayer is that, as a result of this pilgrimage, our students will be strengthened in their faith and will determine to live according to our biblical worldview.


Responses

  1. Praise God! Thank you for sharing your journey!
    My heart is filled with the Holy Spirit Sherril

  2. I was in Israel and Jordan about 3 weeks ago. I saw many of these same places. Most meaningful to me was Mt of Transfiguration. Thanks for sharing. I attended Kingsland 2010-12. I now live in Kansas City.

    • Thanks for sharing. A very special place, indeed.

  3. What a wonderful spiritual experience for the youth. The trip will be a lifelong memory for the kids. God bless them and the ministers. I am blessed that I have a grandson in the group.

    • The students have had an amazing experience 🙂

  4. My heart is overwhelmed with these pictures and comments. To think you have had the privilege of walking where our Savior walked and I am sure felt his presence. God is blessing you.

    • Amen. It has been a wonderful eye and heart opening experience for our students.

  5. It looks amazing! One of the lady’s from our church here, works at the Garden Tomb for a number of months every year! I wonder if your paths crossed!!!

    • Hi Helen,

      We will visit the Garden Tomb in the morning. I will look for your friend.

      Please give my regards to the family. We miss you all.

      Blessings,
      Omar ~

      • We miss you all too, very, very much.
        The lady’s name is Alison, she would be a more ‘seasoned’ lady!😁
        May God bless the rest of your time in Israel!!

      • Thanks. Will ask for her 🙂

      • I have messaged her too, to look out for you all!!

      • Thanks 🙂

  6. Praying for y’all! So glad you are with the group
    Omar!
    Shelley Lignitz

  7. Glorious experience for you and the students. Thanks for taking time to share your journey, along with photos.

    • You’re welcome. Thanks for reading about our adventure.


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