“As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, casting a net into the sea – for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4.18-19
“Then Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.” John 6.11
“Jesus asked, ‘Who you say that I am?’” Peter said, “’You are the Christ!’” Mark 8.29
“After leaving the synagogue Jesus entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother in law was suffering from a high fever. And Jesus rebuked the fever and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.” Luke 4.38
The Lord has shepherded us through a powerful day.
It began with a beautiful sunrise and hearty breakfast. At 8:00 we pushed off the shore on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. The Sea is a lake which would fit nicely in East Texas. A light mist floated over the smooth, quiet waters. It was an awesome beginning.
You could see the disciples fishing these waters. Hear Jesus say, “Throw out your nets for another catch.” You could feel the goose bumps going up the back of the apostles’ necks when they saw Jesus walking to them across these waters. And feel the adrenaline in Peter as he stepped out of the boat to join the Lord.
From the shores of Galilee we made a short drive to the Church of the Beatitudes, built on the spot from which we believe Jesus spoke that essential teaching about the favor of God. We prayed in the place where Jesus fed 5,000 from a few loaves of bread. We walked amongst the ruins of Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his great declaration of faith.
And our last stop took us to the remains of Capernaum, the village which was the home of Peter’s mother in law. After the people of Nazareth drove Jesus from his hometown, the Lord made a second home of sorts at Capernaum. The Gospels record a number of miraculous healings and essential teaching in the synagogue there. We saw the home whose roof was punctured by a group of men who lowered their friend on a pallet. And we prayed in the synagogue, standing on fourth century stones laid on top of the visible original ones on which Jesus Himself walked. You could feel His presence.
Today was a deeply moving day.
We are all well. The food is good. And our guide and driver are excellent. By the grace of God, the pilgrimage already is deeply affecting the lives of those who have come.
This weekend, after Eucharist tomorrow morning at the Church of the Transfiguration, we will cross into Jordan. There we will journey to the place where Jesus was baptized by His cousin John. The place where the voice of the Father was heard proclaiming, “This is my Son, the Beloved!” Later we will go to Petra, and see one of the great wonders of the world carved in the Middle Eastern desert.