We journeyed from Nazareth to Jerusalem on the road that runs through the Jordan River valley. Israel has such vastly different landscape that if you fall asleep on the bus, you might think you are waking up in a different country altogether.
We drove along the mountains of Gilboa. The Roman city of Bet Shean is an amazing marvel of workmanship. We stood at the brow of the hill overlooking the city and imagined being a Jewish boy going to sell wares in a hellenistic city for the very first time. A hellenistic worldview shapes life around oneself, something very foreign to a Jew in the time of Jesus. What a marvel of workmanship! But notice how God shook the earth, and all the pillars fell in one direction.
As we drove through the desert, we could see how the prophecy that the desert will bloom again is really coming true! Acres of greenhouses, date palms, corn, citrus, and vegetables are flourishing in this arid desert.
On the Jericho road, there is room for just two. Look for the tiny path just above the green trees on the bottom left of this picture. That’s the road where the priest and levite took to the other side of the road to pass by the injured man. Jesus traveled this road to Jerusalem with His disciples, and the Israelites did as well after Jericho was conquered. It’s not an easy place to live, but it’s where God placed His people!
Joe and Menachem making decisions.
After a late lunch in Bethlehem and some shopping at Johnny’s Souvenir shop, we checked in at the Jerusalem Ramada, then headed to the old city to celebrate Shabbat. The Western Wall was packed with people, and while Joe informed us of what we’d be doing there, a rabbi came and asked us to sing! What a miracle and how special it was to sing Hebrew songs while people looked on. Later, we went to our separate places to pray, women on one side, and men on the other. It was very moving to mingle with the praying people at the wall, to touch the ancient stones and pray for peace in Jerusalem, the city of God.