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Water, water, everywhere…

February 19, 2011

This was the day I have been waiting for, without even realizing it.  Today (Saturday) I got a sense of the reality of the Jesus I have come to know and love.  Up until now each place we have visited has seemed very “touristy”.  If someone thought Jesus might have had a significant moment there, they built a church on top of it, or a museum around it, or made it into some spectacle or another.  Today was a glance at the natural beauty of the place Jesus spent much of his time and it was obvious how he would’ve been inspired to preach and teach and create words of the deepest love.

This morning we boarded a simple boat, albeit a motorized one, to cross the Sea of Galilee.  Thinking about crossing an entire sea may seem daunting, until you realize that it’s actually a freshwater lake.  The entire thing is only about 12 miles long and 8 miles wide.  We sailed out into the middle as we felt the wind and sun on our faces, and watched the birds circle around in a flock around the boat.  Our captain stopped the engine and allowed us a moment to revel in the peace.  The waves on the sea swept higher and lower at times and gently tossed us back and forth, like a swing.

Bishop Watson began to speak and shared with us his passion for this special place.  The amazing thing about the Holy Land is that there are hundreds of places around that hold some Biblical significance, and scholars and historians have skeptically guessed about this location or that.  However, the Sea of Galilee is one place that in the last 2000 years has not moved.  We can be certain that Jesus truly was somewhere on the Sea of Galilee…perhaps in the very spot where our boat now sat.  Reading from Luke 8:22-25 we remembered the disciples’ fear when a storm swept over them and Jesus calmed them with a word.  What was even more powerful was recognizing that Jesus was still there, on that very boat where we sat.  The Holy Spirit dwells among us and promises to be with us during the storms, not if they happen, but when.  I could almost feel him there joking around with us as we read the scriptures about the storm coming up quickly and splashing over the boat, then being still as soon as Jesus commanded it.  On our journey there was a moment where a particularly playful wave splashed up over the side and sprayed Bishop Watson, Jamie Jenkins, John Simmons and others on the back of the neck.  Moments later the water got so still and calm our boat ceased to move.  It was as if Jesus was there reminding us he was in control, and begging us to trust in him to care for us.

After departing our boat on the other side, we saw an historical boat believed to be 2000 years old.  It could have been one Jesus used to cross with his disciples, or it could have been some local fisherman’s.  But the size and structure gave us an idea of just how fearful those disciples could’ve really been had a storm suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. royce jones permalink
    February 21, 2011 2:39 am

    Jules, I ve been there and you put into words exactly what i felt. your uncle Jim and i are colleagues. graduated in the same class from Chiropractic School. I consider him my best friend. i dream often of returning to Israel.

  2. royce jones permalink
    February 21, 2011 2:48 am

    My wife just informed me that I spelled your name wrong. My phone predicts everything for me. Jim would be ashamed. We love him anyway. Soak up as much as you can from Israel. One day Messiah will sit there and rule. Every Knee will bow.

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