March 6, 2017
I love to read the account of the time Jesus went to the Galilean city of Nain, raising a young man from the dead. How the widowed mother must have rejoiced!
Luke narrates as follows:
Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. 12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. 16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.” (Lk. 7:11-16).
Nain in Galilee. BibleAtlas.com.
The purpose of Jesus’ miracles was to show who He was/is. The limited occasions recorded when He raised the dead give proof that He is Life, He is the source of Life. He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). And yet such occasions show the very real compassion of Jesus as well. The compassion He had during His ministry on earth He continues to have at this present time.
We had the opportunity to make a quick stop at Nain during our tour to Israel last November ’16.
Nain, where Jesus raised the dead. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
By the way, the mountain in the background is the Hill of Moreh, mentioned in connection with the account of Gideon and his 300 men (Judges 7). Click photo for larger view.
November 4, 2016
We said “Good-bye” to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee this morning and made our way down (biblically “up” in altitude) to Jerusalem. We made a stop at Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown.
Nazareth in Galilee, Jesus’ hometown. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
We also made a stop at the Spring of Harod,where Gideon’s army was reduced to 300 men, by which God gave Israel victory over the Midianites (Judges 7-8).
Spring of Harod. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
Colorful flora at the site:
Flora at the Spring of Harod. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
We also saw Beth-Shean, mentioned in 1 Sam. 31 as the site where the victorious Philistines took the bodies of King Saul and his three sons, fastening them to the walls of the city. This was Scythopolis in New Testament times, one of the cities of the Decapolis.
Beth-shean. OT tel in background; Roman ruins in foreground. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
Good friend and tour member Lynn Clayton.
Lynn at Beth-shean. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
Click photos for larger image. Thanks for following our travels in the Bible lands.
November 3, 2016
I never tire of seeing sunrise on the Sea of Galilee.
Sunrise, Sea of Galilee. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
From the Sea we had a view of Mt. Arbel, where the international highway, the Via Maris, passed.
Via Maris at Mt. Arbel. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Boats such as these take passengers across the Sea of Galilee.
Photo by Leon Mauldin.
We visited Capernaum (“town of Nahum,” New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p.209), called “the most important city on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p. 245). Jesus’ home town was Nazareth, but Capernaum was where He lived during the Galilean ministry. Note the wording of the NET in Matt. 4:13: “While in Galilee, he moved from Nazareth to make his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.” To that compare Mark 2:1: “Now after some days, when he returned to Capernaum, the news spread that he was at home,” with its parallel in Mt. 9:1, which says Jesus came “to His own city.”
Here is a view of some of the excavations there.
Excavations at Capernaum, Jesus hometown. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Moving north, we saw the Senir, one of the sources of the Jordan River. Some girls were rafting. Tomorrow we are to begin our journey south to Jerusalem. Thanks for following our travels.
Rafting in the Senir River. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
June 9, 2016
This past week was a busy week in our local congregation — our annual Vacation Bible School. The theme was “Soaring to Bible Places” and included lessons from three Old Testament and two New Testament texts. Our studies took us to Capernaum, where Jesus healed a Centurion’s servant, and commended the Centurion for his great faith (Jesus marveled!, Matt. 8:5-13). From Capernaum you have a beautiful view of the Sea of Galilee.
Sea of Galilee, looking east from Capernaum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
I enjoy showing photos such as this to children and adults alike, to help us visualize the setting of the biblical world. It was in this very area that Jesus did so much of His earthly ministry.
May 4, 2016
Frequently the Bible will have “summary statements,” such as is found regarding Jesus’ Galilean Ministry: ” Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him” (Mark 3:7-8, NASB).
Note Jesus “withdrew to the sea,” meaning the Sea of Galilee, which is really a fresh water lake fed by the Upper Jordan. Its surface is currently 696 feet below sea level. Here see a sunrise view I photographed last month:
Sunrise at the Sea of Galilee. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.
I labeled this blank map to show all the sites mentioned in these two verses.
Map, areas mentioned in Mark 3:7-8. Blank map by Bob Waldron & Scott Richardson.
The text is saying that people from all of these areas came to hear and see Jesus when He “withdrew to the sea.” Mark records the above portion of Jesus’ ministry immediately before he narrates Jesus’ selection and appointment of the twelve apostles.
April 12, 2016
Today’s travels took us from the Sea of Galilee down the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea area, then west on back to Jerusalem. Along the way we made some interesting stops, including while still in the north, Gan Hashlosha, in the vicinity of Beth-shan. Beth-shan was the city where the bodies of King Saul and three of his sons were fastened after their deaths (1 Sam. 31). Amal Stream, the spring water that emerges in the western part of the park maintains a constant, year-round temperature of 28 degrees Celsius.
Beautiful Gan Hashlosha, Israel. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Our real interest in stopping here was the Museum of Regional & Mediterranean Archaeology, which has some unique artifacts from the Beth-shan area, as well as rare finds from the Mediterranean region. The displays feature Canaanite, Israelite, Grecian, Etruscan, Persian and Egyptian collections.
We also drove along the top of Mt. Gilboa, where we had some good views of the Plain of Jezreel, where so many biblical events occurred.
Click image for larger view.