The Sea of Galilee. A fishing boat on The Sea of Galilee. I stood on the hill and said those words over and over to myself. I couldn't quite take it in...from a distance that could have been the boat. He looked on this hill from just such a place out there; and He saw the people watching and waiting for Him, just as I do today. I wonder what He was thinking. Was He tired and wishing for a little rest, or was He filled with joy to know that some would choose His way, or perhaps both.
In the museum at this spot there's what's left of a 2000+ year old boat similar to the one Jesus would have ridden in, that Peter would have fished from. It was discovered some years ago buried in the mud of the sea and was carefully extracted by archeologists. There's a diagram that shows how 13 men would have fit into the boat. There are certificates of this and that promising that this is really as old as they say it is and how it was made and all that stuff that some people demand as proof. As for me, I don't need proof. It doesn't matter to me if it's really 2000+ years old or only 1,975 years old. It's similar to what would have been available to these fisherman and it helps me picture the scene....the sea is calm, the men are fishing, and here comes Jesus walking on the water, doing what you and I think is impossible to reach the ones He loved.
From the boat you can see the hill where Jesus multiplied the loaves and the fish. Over here they waited. They waited for the boat to come to shore, for Jesus to speak and to teach and to heal. I wish I had been among them.
Peter lived here. Peter, the rock Jesus built the church on. Peter, the fisherman and the family man. His mother-in-law lived with him; that was not the norm of that day so I wonder why she was there. He must have been a kind man to have allowed it. Or perhaps he just loved his wife so much that her mother was welcome too. I wonder about Peter...he loved the Lord I know but what else about him. Did he have children? Did he have dreams of a better life than fishing?
This statue is at the church that marks the spot where Peter's home was.
Archaeologists have excavated Peter's home and this glass ceiling covers part of it so that you can look down into the "living room." I knew how primitive their homes must have been, or I thought I knew. But seeing the ruins like this reminded me of how hard life was then.
Rough ground was their floor, rocks were their walls, oftentimes the walls of a cave were their protection from the weather. Jesus could have come at any time. He could have come today when He could ride in a car, fly in a plane. But He chose that time, that place. He walked on rough rocky paths in rope sandals, He endured cold winds and blistering sun. Why then? Why that place? He did that for me. He did that for you.
The Jordan River. It was just as I had pictured it. I kept thinking of the words of a hymn, "you are standing on holy ground." We reaffirmed our baptism in this place, this holy ground. I was humbled by the gift of His grace.