My Journey To Jerusalem The Gospel According To Terrence
On the Sea of Galilee with new friend Psalmist Joshua Aaron
by Terrence G. Clark Chapter Four - Day 3
Shabbat Begins in the Evening Fish Lunch and Into the Jordan
The sun brought to perspective, again, what the night only hinted. The light invaded my new balcony window and docks of new waters were below. The Sea of Galilee was beautiful and tranquil. It was vast, worthy of its geographical definition as being a sea. Apparently, the day before, we learned, its surf was somewhat choppy. Perhaps Jesus has again calmed it for us. Scheduled, after breakfast a boat ride awaited us to start our day and tour of the surf & turf where the Lord spent most of his ministry.
The Leonardo hotel dining room was much bigger than the previous. It seemed that every tour group had converged there. The menu was more intense and the taste of the culture with mixtures of others were on the tables. For me, olives and hummus was with every meal, along with some version of roasted veggies.
After sipping down a 4 oz coffee I joined the others who also went back to their room, to grab what was needed for the day. We were off. This morning not boarding the bus but a boat. It was worship at sea---a great way to start any morning magnified at the place where Jesus traveled
Joshua Aaron is from the United States. A Messianic Jew he moved to Tiberias as his calling to his Jewish roots became definitive. His cause, to minister to Jewish people in Israel, to let them know the love of Yahweh God through His son Yeshua the Messiah. Joshua carried on the boat with him his fishing tools---a guitar and his voice. He is a psalmist indeed, a minister in worship with distinct cultural tone in his music. After we had launched off a bit and surrounded by the waters, He led us in praise and worship.
The first song, however, a tradition of the cruise boat, honoring the citizenship of the current passengers, the US National Anthem and the raising of the US flag. A tribute to this nations supporting Israel. We sang favorites with Jewish rhythms closing with a rendition of "How Great Thou Art". My father’s favorite. I had a moment and thought about my dad. He would love this. Assured he loves where he is at right now. He and mom are both home on celestial shores with the Lord.
Baptismal in the Jordan River. I'm trying not to step on Fish
Galilee is also known biblically as the Sea of Tiberias, Kinneret, and Lake of Gennesaret. It's fresh water supplying the region the valuable resource. Jesus encounter Peter and his first disciples here. "Cast your nets on the other side," he said to the catch-less, night-wearied, fisherman.
They had made the mistake [euphemistically] of letting him preached from their vessel. It was a moment that would change their lives forever.
“Follow me, he said (here at the lake we were on). I will make you fishers of men.”
Our boat journey with the Messiah docked us at the Yigal Alon Museum to see firsthand an actual fishing boat, pulled from these waters, used at that time. Could it be the one that Jesus used? Is this the one that Peter shouted to what they thought was an apparition passing them by on the stormy sea.
“Lord if it be you, bid me to come?”
“Come,” said Jesus.
And Peter walked, as well---he sank, but he did walk, twice, on the water with Jesus. I had punned earlier that I too walked on the water. As I walked back in forth on the boat. Bucket-list checked. Another manifestation.
Our next stop the Mount of Beatitudes the location of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12; Luke 6:17-23). Another beautiful place. a hilltop with luscious garden. Olive trees again everywhere. And two familiar already a Catholic chapel built there.
Next the Church of Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha - Believed to be the “desolate place” where Jesus fed the 5,000 men and their families with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes (Matthew 14:15-21; Mark 6:30-44). It was there, I felt the presence of God, but not in the excitement of the moment, but in the longing of the soul. I had lingered behind in the square. People from groups were going back in forth, talking, chatting, and catching the history, glad to be there.
To note, it was here, we had first encountered the Nigerians. A tour group from Nigeria. They were not quiet but refreshingly loud. The leader read from the Word declaring and proclaiming the power of Christ. There was a radiance of the power of Pentecost outside of the synagogue. African American myself, I couldn’t help from thinking about the scripture---Psalms 68:31 Envoys will come out of Egypt; Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God (ASB).
We entered what was a synagogue. I held up the rear. As I entered the door Pastor Jason was seated in a corner to the left of the door. This is where the ruler of the synagogue sat. He didn’t set up front or in the back until folk got there. He sat at the door. Perhaps that would discourage people from coming in late for church. “Not me Pastor, I was holding up the rear.”
After taking a few pictures inside, we left and past the Nigerian group again. They were still preaching and declaring. It was like going from one room to another with a different TV on.
I sat down for a moment on a stone bench. A Kairos moment in the square. “Did anybody else get this? He still doing this today.” The miracles are not just historic. They are reminders and encouragers for all believers to follow. Reach the world. These signs follow those that believe. Yeshua had said, “These things shall you do and greater--- because I go to be with the Father.”
Capernaum is a city, a town north of the Sea of Galilee. In Hebrew, it’s “Kefar Nahum” Village of Nahum. Some believe, this is where Nahum the prophet, of the book that carries his name, spent a lot of time. Others disagree, but what is sure is that Jesus spent much time here. Defining him as not only as a country boy as from Nazareth, but one also familiar with city life. It was here, in Capernaum, that many miracles were performed (Matthew 4:13-17) the town was part of his preaching circuit teaching in the synagogue---the church of that day (Mark 1:21-22).
Other miracles done here included the healing of Peter’s mother in law (Matthew 8:14), and the servant of the centurion (Matthew 8:5). Matthew the tax collector (Matthew 9:9) was also called from this place which was a miracle in itself.
Lunch was the big talk. This was the one at Kibbutz Ein Gev Jordan. St Peter’s Fish---Tilapia is served. Full fish head and all. Grilled or baked I’m not sure. We enjoyed the typical garnishes and the main course was served looking back up at us. I remembered the scene from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation around the table eating the turkey, as we picked through bone to eat the meal. Another experience well worth it. “Hey Peter, I’ll have another. Please filet it first this time.”
More shopping for some. Others to find the bathroom.
Getting ready for the next stop at the Jordan River to be baptized. We had brought our changes of clothes that morning. On the way, there were more – Tels, caves, mountains. To our left the border of Jordan also known as the West bank. It was marked with electric fences and barriers.
John the Baptist baptized in this river which is not that wide. Here at this location it was wide enough and deep enough for multiple groups, at the same time, to share the refreshing of baptismal vows. We changed in the locker rooms rented towels. Demaris held our stuff until we were through.
Pastor Jason baptized most of our team. I want you to baptize me, he said. I felt like John about to baptize Jesus. It was the same when he baptized me. We both had been in the water. We both were already washed in the blood of the Lamb. “But suffer it to be so now,” I said. You couldn’t help quoting scripture. Pastor Billie helped me baptized him.
I waited for Billie to get dunked. She was last after me and before Jason. The water wasn’t cold, at least not to me. Others on the team thought otherwise. I think it was more the shiver of expectancy. Everyone waiting for something. Perhaps the water here has more of the power to cleanse the soul. We all knew better. I went under shucking the thought that Jason was dunking my 200 pound frame alone. That passed. It felt good. I was assured the reality would hit me more a little later. Billie went in and came up expecting for a Pentecost experience. She got it. We would find that it would continue that evening.
There was a troubling of the water. I was singing the song, but it wasn’t a Holy Ghost manifestation, but one left over from the Galilee. Little fishes were nibbling at my toes. The more I shook them a way they kept coming.
“Brother Jason do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the pardon of you sins and He rose again,” I asked, looking him in the eyes.
He said, “Yes.”
“I baptize you my brother in the name of the Father, and in the name of the Holy Ghost and…” Looking back, I think I put them out of traditional order. I went back thinking how could I missed the moment. But perhaps on purpose, Lastly, I said “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” I baptized him.
We dried in the locker rooms and then back on the bus.
I was late coming down to dinner. Had to talk to my wife at home. It was late morning for her. We talked and afterward I headed down for dinner. I was hungry, but the Spirit was still on me. The moment at Tabgha was still on me. Jason and Demarius were meeting with Joshua Aaron that evening. Excusing themselves, they headed out.
I finished my meal and pushed the plate back. There was seven of us left at the table. Diane, Janet, Linda, Miss Carol, Denise, Billie and myself. Billie asked how I was and it began. I shared my moment from the day and Billie got what she prayed for. The Holy Spirit had come to Galilee and the He ministered around the table. Calling out things and confirming things. Here we sat miles away from our circuits in the Delaware Valley. We were at Jesus’ lake, in this Valley, and He’s showing up with His gifts. He was still in Israel ministering to us.
Diane confirmed after the Lord ministered to her. “There’s a prophetic meeting that began at my church today, she said, and I wanted to be there, but I’m here. So the Lord just brought to me.”
Our waiter stood by, waiting as we prayed and ministered. A young Jewish man. He watched, we believed that he will never forget that moment. Billie said to him that we were going to pray for his family. He smiled and we sensed his acceptance. The group left for their rooms. I stayed a little bit longer in the afterglow enjoying both desserts and the Lord.
Rona's Report - Day 3
3rd Day – November 6 (Fri)
Sea of Galilee (John 6: 1)
- Also known as Sea of Tiberias, is the largest freshwater lake in Israel located within a great depression (along a fault line)
- Fellowship with Joshua Aaron while sailing on the Sea of Galilee
Yigal Alon Museum
- On display is a reconstructed wooden boat believed to have been used in the Sea of Galilee during the 1st century AD; discovered in 1986 by fishermen
Mount of Beatitudes
- Believed to be the location of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12; Luke 6:17-23); atop the mountain is a Catholic chapel reportedly built with the support of Mussolini
Church of the Multiplication, Tabgha
- Believed to be the “desolate place” where Jesus fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes (Matthew 14:15-21; Mark 6:30-44)
- From the Hebrew words “Kefar” (village) and “Nahum” (name of an old testament prophet)
- This town, north of the Sea of Galilee, was where Jesus lived (Matthew 4:13-17), performed miracles, and taught at the local synagogue (Mark 1:21-22)
- Also the place where Peter (Matthew 8:14), Matthew the tax collector (Matthew 9:9), and the centurion whose servant was healed by Jesus (Matthew 8:5) were believed to have resided
St. Peter’s Fish (tilapia) lunch at Kibbutz Ein Gev
Baptism at the River Jordan
- Jordan, derived from the Hebrew words “Yar” (flowing) and “Dan” (name of the largest source of water for the Jordan River), passes through the Sea of Galilee and descends into the Dead Sea
- The Jordan River, mentioned several times in the Bible, has spiritual significance:
o The tribes of Israel under Joshua cross the river on dry ground to enter the promised land after years of wandering in the desert (Joshua 3:14-17)
o John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in the waters of the Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11)