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  • The Inn of the Good Samaritan & Museum |

    Inn of the Good Samaritan & Museum Photo Gallery Places of Interest Inn of the Good Samaritan Location 1. The Inn of the Good Samaritan is located about 8.5 miles (13.5 km.) east of Jerusalem on Hwy. 1 and about 6.5 (10.5 km.) west of Jericho. 2. The Inn is about halfway between Jerusalem and Jericho on an ancient road that linked traffic from the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem and the coastal towns of the Mediterranean Ocean. 3. The famous story of the Good Samaritan took place on this road. Historical Background 1. Interestingly, Jesus used real places and people in the story of the Good Samaritan, i.e., road, Jerusalem, Jericho, robbers, Samaritans, priests, Levites, and the Inn. Therefore, the possibility exists that the story was actually a real event that had happened. 2. The ancient road connecting the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem and beyond had an elevation difference of 3,400 ft. (1,036 m.). Jericho is at 800 ft. (244 m.) below sea level, and Jerusalem is at 2,600 ft. (792 m.) above sea level. 3. It was a dangerous road that was desolate in steep, curvy places with crooks, crannies, and caves where bandits and robbers could hide and get away easily in the desert. It also lacked police protection in many places. 4. It was about 15 miles (24 km.) between Jerusalem and Jericho. 5. Around 12,000 priests and Levites lived in Jericho who used this road whenever they were summoned to serve in the temple in Jerusalem. 6. The rocky desert terrain around the Inn of the Good Samaritan was notorious for robbers. The local name for the area is Ma‘ale Adummim, which means red rocks. It’s believed the name was derived from the limestone stained red by iron oxide, but it’s also believed its name is due to the amount of blood that was spilled here by bandits and robbers. 7. Jesus and His disciples would have used this road repeatedly as they traveled between Jerusalem and Jericho. 8. The Inn of the Good Samaritan Although it’s not certain that the inn Jesus mentioned in the story of the Good Samaritan was a real place, a site was proposed in the early Christian centuries as a place to commemorate this event. Today, it’s called the Inn of the Good Samaritan. The site was inhabited in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and remains from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD were discovered during the excavations of the Inn. In the 6th century, a Byzantine church and monastery with pilgrim accommodations were erected on the site of what was probably some sort of travelers’ hostel well before the time of Jesus. Later, the Crusaders built a fortress on a nearby hill to protect pilgrims against robbers. The remains of the monastery later became an Ottoman Inn. In the 1800s, the Ottomans built a rectangular structure over the ruins of the southern wall of the Crusader Fortress. The current museum at this site was opened in 2009. Places of Interest 1. Byzantine Church 2. Museum (has many mosaics and artifacts from around Israel) 3. Cave 1, 2 4. Crusader Fortress ​ 5. Hwy. 1 6. Jericho 7. Jerusalem 8. Ancient Road from Jericho to Jerusalem 9. Wadi Qelt The Story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible 1. A lawyer (student of Scripture) tested Jesus regarding what a person had to do to receive eternal life. Luke 10:25-28: And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind [Deut. 6:5]; and your neighbor as yourself [Lev. 19:18].” 2. Attempting to justify himself, the lawyer asked a follow-up question about what the term “neighbor” meant. Luke 10:29: And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 3. To illustrate who our neighbor is, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. Luke 10:30-34: Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise, a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. The priests were the spiritual leaders and oversaw the temple. The Levites were servants in the temple. Samaritans were unfaithful Jews who intermarried with foreign unbelievers and established their own religion. The Samaritans were despised and rejected by the Jews and considered unclean. The Samaritans, likewise, despised the Jews and had few dealings with them. Any traveler from Samaria would have been regarded as an alien in Judea. Luke 10:35-37: On the next day, he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same .” A denarius was about a day’s wage. Today, it would be around $200 dollars for an average worker. The Samaritan gave the innkeeper two denarii for a total of $400 dollars. The Good Samaritan was willing to spend even more money on the hurt man, meaning that what he had already given was just a start. Faith Lesson from the Good Samaritan 1. Our neighbor is anyone with a genuine need whom we find in our path. 2. The wounded man the Samaritan helped was not a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance; he was a total stranger. 3. The Samaritan spent a large sum of money to help heal the wounded man with no expectation or guarantee of being repaid. 4. It’s not what we see but what we do that makes us a neighbor. 5. Jesus emphasized that it’s not just what we believe that matters, but what we do that shows we are truly saved. 6. While we should help the wounded with physical needs, we should also help the wounded with their spiritual needs as well. The greatest need everyone has is salvation. Do we share our faith and give the greatest gift possible to those in need spiritually? 7. We should keep in mind that not every want or need others might have is legitimate. 8. God doesn’t want us to reward wrong motives and laziness. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11: For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat , either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all , but acting like busybodies.

  • Madaba, Jordan: Madaba Map, St. George's Church, Map of Holy Land |

    Madaba: Madaba Map & St. George's Church Madaba: Madaba Map & St. George's Church Location 1. Madaba is about 25 miles (40 km.) east of Jericho and 20 miles (32 km.) southwest of Amman, Jordan. ​ 2. It's located on the King's Highway, a famous road that linked Africa and Egypt with Asia and Europe. This was a major traffic and trade route during ancient times. 3. Modern roads today still follow the same route as it provides the best geographical way to navigate the natural terrain. ​ Historical Background 1. Madaba can be traced back at least 4,500 years. The ancient settlement, now mostly buried ben eath the modern town, lies on a natural rise created by branches of the Wadi Madaba. ​ 2. Madaba has a long history. It once belonged to the Moabites, Nabateans, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Muslum rule, and today, is home to the biggest Christian community in all of Jordan, proportionally speaking. Catholics and Greek Orthodox Christians make up around 10 percent of the total population of Madaba. 3. Accounts of Christians living in Madaba can be traced back to around 200 AD. Partial evidence for this can be found in the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. They appear to have erected sites of worship in the area. Later, during the Byzantine period, around 350 AD, they erected a church where St. George's Church is located today. 4. During the 5-8 centuries AD, many mosaics were built in Madaba, causing it to be called "the City of the Map, or Maps." The most elaborate and famous of these mosaic maps is located where the Church of St. George is today and is what is called the "Madaba Map." ​ 5. The Byzantine church known today as St. George's Church stood on the very spot of this famous mosaic map but was destroyed by an earthquake in the 8th century. After this, it lay largely abandoned for many centuries. It stayed desolate until the 19th century, when its remnants were discovered. ​ 6. In the 1880s, tensions arose between Muslims and Christians in the city of Karak, Jordan, and the Christians were forced to leave and relocate to Madaba. These Christians wanted to build churches but only were allowed to do so on the condition that these churches were built on sites where churches had once stood before. ​ 7. These Christians originally lived in caves as they had no homes yet. However, as they began building homes, they often did so over the foundations of ancient structures. In so doing, they came upon mosaic after mosaic. Many were incorporated as floors in the new houses being built by the settlers. The announcement in 1897 of the discovery of the famous "Madaba Map" of the Holy Land, dating to the Byzantine era, created a sensation. By the end of the century, the majority of the known mosaics of Madaba had been at least partially uncovered. In most cases, they were preserved and can be seen today. 8. At the heart of Madaba is St. George's Greek Orthodox Church. The church broke ground in 1884 when the Greek Orthodox community saved enough funds to start construction. But to the surprise of the builders, under it were the remains of a Byzantine Church dating back to the 3rd century AD. It was on the floor of this ancient Greek church that the earliest, most extant map of Israel and surrounding areas were found that today is called the "Madaba Map." It has 157 captions (in Greek) depicting all the major biblical sites of the Middle East. This mosaic map is dated to around 560 AD. It was originally around 66 ft. (20 m.) long and 20 ft. (6m) wide. It once contained more than two million pieces, but only one-third of the original mosaic has survived. Sites of Interest 1. St. George's Greek Orthodox Church ​ Famous Madaba Map The Madaba Mosaic is located in the apse of St. George's Church. As you approach the map, you will discover that it is oriented to the east (most tourists assume northwards). Therefore, your east is the top of the map, and the north falls on your left-hand side. ​ In the center of the map, there is a very detailed description of Jerusalem. At the center of the map is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which marks the place of Golgotha, where Christ was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead. On the right side of Jerusalem, you will find Bethlehem, and on the left, you will see Jacob’s well. In the upper-middle part, there is the Sea of Galilee with two boats. ​ 2. Madaba Visitor Ce nter Madaba’s visitor center is worth a visit to learn more about Madaba’s history and its mosaics. It's located in a scenic, renovated traditional house and is right next to St. George's Church and the Archeological Park. ​ 3. Madaba Archeological Park While the map of Madaba in Saint George’s Church gets most of the attention, some claim that the most beautiful mosaics are at Madaba’s Archeological Park. Here you can find some of the oldest mosaics in Jordan. The site has some Roman ruins as well as the remains from the church of the Virgin Mary. ​ Some of the most beautiful mosaics are in the Hippolytus H all, where you can find another famous Madaba mosaic that tells the myth of Hippolytus. ​ 4. Apostles' Church The largest mosaic floor can be found at the Apostles' Church. The church might look rather simple, but the inside is beautiful. The mosaic is dedicated to the twelve apostles and has lots of images, including animals and other interesting details. ​ 5. Church of St. John the Baptist This Roman Catholic church is the only tourist place in Madaba where mosaics are not the main attraction. Although there is a small museum with some replicas, One of the biggest reasons to visit this church is to climb the bell tower. From the very top, it provides a spectacular view over Madaba. ​ Madaba in the Bible Note: The Hebrew word for Madaba is Medeba 1. Madaba occurs in the Bible as part of a lament describing the conquest of a series of Moabite cities, including Madaba, by the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon. Numbers 21:30 : But we have shot them down with arrows, Heshbon is destroyed as far as Dibon, then we have laid waste as far as Nophah, which reaches to Medeba ” [Madaba]. 2. Madaba was part of the inheritance of the 2 1/2 tribes of Isreal that settled on the east side of the Jordan River. Joshua 13:8-9: With the other half-tribe, the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance which Moses gave them beyond the Jordan to the east, just as Moses the servant of the Lord gave to them; 9 from Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba [Madaba], as far as Dibon. ​ Joshua 13:15-16: So Moses gave an inheritance to the tribe of the sons of Reuben according to their families. 16 Their territory was from Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley and all the plain by Medeba [Madaba]. ​ 3. When King David wanted to show kindness to the son of Nahash, king of Ammon, his servants were humiliated. Then, the son of Nahash went to war with King David but was defeated at Madaba. 1 Chronicles 19:7: So they hired for themselves thirty-two thousand chariots, and the king of Maacah and his people, who came and camped opposite Medeba. And the sons of Ammon gathered together from their cities and came to the battle. ​ 4. It was conquered by Israelite King Omri, as found in Numbers 32 and 2 Kings 3:4-27. 5. The prophet Isaiah pronounced judgment over Madaba. Isaiah 15:2: The people have gone up to the temple and to Dibon, to the high places to weep. Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba [Madaba]; Everyone’s head is bald and every beard is cut off. ​

  • Nazareth Overview: Church of the Annunciation, Mary's Well, Jesus Hometown,

    Nazareth Overview Photo Gallery Places of Interest Nazareth ​ Location 1. Nazareth is in the northern part of Israel in the Lower Galilee area. 2. It’s about 15 miles (24 km.) southwest of the Sea of Galilee, about 3.5 miles (5.6 km.) southwest of Cana, and about 23 miles (37 km.) inland from the Mediterranean Sea. Historical Background 1. Nazareth had an estimated population of around 300 during the time of Christ. 2. It’s a famous town because this is where the Angel Gabriel announced the miraculous virgin birth to Mary. 3. Nazareth is also the place where Jesus grew up. 4. It was a small farming town where everyone knew each other. 5. For some reason, Nazareth had a bad reputation. John 1:43-46: The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? ” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Places of Interest ​ 1. Church of the Annunciation (also known as the Basilica of the Annunciation) 2. Mary’s Well 3. Greek Catholic Church 4. Synagogue Church 5. Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation 6. St. Joseph’s Church 7. Mensa Christi Church 8. Greek Catholic Church 9. Mt. Precipice ​ Nazareth In the Bible 1. Nazareth was the home of Joseph and Mary and the place where the angel Gabriel was sent to announce to the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Christ the Messiah. 2. There have been two churches built here to commemorate this announcement. One is called the “Church of the Annunciation,” and the other, the “Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation.” Luke 1:26-38: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High . And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." 34 And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God." 38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. ​​ 3. After living in Egypt for some time after Christ’s birth, His parents returned to Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. Matthew 2:19-23: But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth , that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarene. ​ Luke 2:51–52: And He went down with them and came to Nazareth , and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. 4. Jesus lived in Nazareth until He started His earthly ministry at the age of 30. From Nazareth, Christ relocated and set up His ministry home base in Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee. Matthew 4:13–17: And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 15 "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—16 the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned." 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 5. Jesus was rejected by His own townspeople at Nazareth and was unable to perform many miracles there due to their lack of faith in Him. Luke 4:14-27: And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up . And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?" 23 And he said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself.' What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well." 24 And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." 6. Those who knew Christ best rejected Him and attempted to throw Him off a cliff close-by to their town. Today, this place is called Mount Precipice. Luke 4:28–30: When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away. Faith Lesson from Nazareth 1. Nazareth had a bad reputation. God oftentimes places light in the dark so the light can illuminate the darkness. Are we being lights where we live? 2. The people of Nazareth largely rejected Christ. It shouldn’t surprise us if we too are rejected because of our faith in Christ and adherence to His Word. 3. Christ was rejected so He understands when we are rejected by our close friends and family members because of our faith in Him. 4. Do we reject Christ by refusing His offer of salvation, by refusing to be obedient to Him, or by not sharing our faith with those around us?

  • Traditional Via Dolorosa: Route to Jesus' Crucifixion, Golgotha |

    The Via Dolorosa Photo Gallery Places of Interest The Via Dolorosa Location 1. The Via Dolorosa starts (Station 1) at the original place of the Antonia Fortress, which is currently a Muslim Elementary School. 2. Station 1 is located on Lion’s Gate St., several hundred yards (m.) inside the Old City west of the Lion’s Gate. 3. The Via Dolorosa ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Historical Background 1. Via Dolorosa means “The Painful Path.” 2. It’s the route Jesus walked as he went from His trial before Pilate at Antonia’s Fortress to His crucifixion at Golgotha. 3. The Via Dolorosa has 14 stations honoring the events that took place as Christ made His way to Golgotha to be crucified. 4. In the 4th century, Byzantine pilgrims followed a similar path to the one taken today but did not stop along the way. 5. During the 8th century the route changed, it began at the Garden of Gethsemane, headed south to Mount Zion, then returned around the Temple Mount to the Holy Sepulchre. 6. The present route was marked out by the Franciscans in 1342 after the Ottoman Sultan granted them authority over the Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. 7. Nine of the events are biblical, and five are taken from traditional beliefs handed down over the centuries. Places of Interest 1. Lions’ Gate 2. Temple Mount 3. Antonia Fortress 4. Church of the Holy Sepulchre 5. Ecce Homo Arch 6. Original stone pavement section 7. Old City wall in the time of Christ The 14 Stations of the Via Dolorosa The stations that are biblical will have Bible verses after them clarifying the events (Stations 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14). ​ The stations that have been handed down from tradition will just list the event that is believed to have happened there (Stations 3, 4, 6, 7, 9). ​ Stations 1–9 each have a large rounded metal plaque with Roman numerals marking their locations. Stations 10—14 are located at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 1. Station 1: Jesus is condemned to death. Location: Umariya Muslim Elementary School, which is where the Antonia Fortress was located. Permission is needed to enter the school courtyard. However, if permission is not granted, this event can be commemorated outside the school. Matthew 27:27: Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. Luke 23: 13–25: Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will, therefore, punish and release him." 18 But they all cried out together, "Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas"— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" 22 A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will, therefore, punish and release him." 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will. 2. Station 2: Jesus is given His cross. Location: Church of Condemnation/Flagellation across from Station 1. John 19:16–17: So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. Between Stations 2 and 3 is Ecco Homo Arch (behold the man). 3. Station 3: Jesus falls the first time. Location: take a left (south) at the corner of Via Dolorosa St. and Al Wad St. and Station 3 is immediately on the left. In front of Station 3, are old stones on the street from the time of Christ that were discovered underneath this area and placed here for all to see. 4. Station 4: Jesus meets His mother. Located a short distance southward from Station 3 on El-Wad St. 5. Station 5: Simon of Cyrene carries Christ’s cross. Located at the corner of Via Dolorosa St. and El-Wad St. From this corner, the street takes a sharp turn to the right and then starts ascending uphill with a series of stairs along the way. Luke 23:26: And when they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyren e, as he was coming in from the country , and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. 6. Station 6: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. Location: on Via Dolorosa St. up from station 5. According to tradition, Veronica felt compassion when she saw Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha and gave him her veil so that he could wipe his forehead. Jesus supposedly wiped His face and then handed it back to her with the image of His face miraculously impressed upon her veil. Veronica means true image in Latin. A short distance before Station 7, part of the original wall of the city can be seen. Golgotha was outside the city during the time of Christ, and this wall marks the exit out of the city. 7. Station 7: Jesus falls the second time. Location: at the corner of Via Dolorosa St. and Khan es-Zeit St. 8. Station 8: Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem. Location: from Station 7, take a step to the right and walk up Ma'alot E-Khanka St. a short distance. Luke 23:27–31: And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.' 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 9. Station 9: Jesus falls the third time. Location: walk back down to Station 7, take a right (south) on Beit HaBad St. Continue on Beit HaBad St. for about 75 yards (70 meters) and you will notice on the right a stairway leading to Station 9. Station 9 is the hardest to find. It’s located by the Coptic Patriarchate Building, through a narrow alley. Stations 10–14 are at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Location: from Station 9, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre can be accessed two ways: (1) by a green door that leads to the courtyard of the Holy Sepulcher (2) by returning to Beit HaBad St. and continuing south, then take a right on Shuk ha-Tsaba'im St. and follow it to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 10. Station 10: Jesus is stripped of His garments. Location: in a room outside the church called The Chapel of the Franks, on the right side of the church entrance. John 19:23–24: When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, "They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things. 11. Station 11: Jesus arrives at Golgotha and is nailed to the cross. Location: just after entering the church, take a right and go up the stairs to the second level. A Franciscan altar marks Station 11. John 19:17–18: And he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 12. Station 12: Jesus dies on the cross. Location: beside Station 11, a Greek Orthodox crucifixion altar marks Station 12. Matthew 27:45–54: Now from the sixth hour [12:00 pm] there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour [3:00 pm]. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Beside Station 12 is a large cracked rock which is believed to have been caused by the earthquake at Christ’s death. On the lower level of the church, this rock can be seen as well. 13. Station 13: Jesus' body is removed from the cross. Location: on the ground level of the church in front of its entrance. This station is marked by a large marble slab with adornments hanging above it. John 19:38–40: After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 14. Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense. Location: in the large rotunda of the church a large enclosed tomb marks Station 14. John 19:41–42: Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. For a more detailed look at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, please see Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Faith Lesson from the Via Dolorosa 1. Roman Crucifixion always took place in the most public areas as possible. 2. Jesus was led through the busy streets for maximum humiliation. 3. Christ’s crucifixion happened on the day of Passover, so Jerusalem was at its busiest time of year, and there could have easily been around 150,000 people present in the city at this time. 4. The blood lost during the floggings, the crown of thorns, and beatings were unbearable and life-threatening. 5. Christ was so weak that Simon of Cyrene had to carry His cross most of the way to Golgotha. 6. The total time elapsed from Christ’s suffering that began in the Garden of Gethsemane to His death on the cross was about 18 hours of sleepless, intense torment and pain. 7. The physical suffering was only a drop in the bucket compared to the spiritual suffering Christ endured in order to pay for our sins. 8. Do we really understand the price that was paid for the forgiveness of our sins, the privilege we have of being right with God, and the gift of eternal life in heaven? 9. Do we warn others of the reality of the judgments of God and the price of rejecting Christ’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life? 10. If we refuse to believe in the existence of a literal hell, then all Christ suffered has little meaning or purpose. This would be a horrendous slap in the face of Christ for all He did on the cross.

  • Israel Holy Land Tour Trip: October 20-November 5, 2023, Registration |

    Holy Land Trip Registration Form October 20~November 5, 2 023 Trip How to Register and Secure Your Spot on the Holy Land Experience Trip 1. Fill out and submit the online registration form below. ​ 2. Upon receiving and accepting your form, we will notify you of availability and acceptance into the tour trip group. 3. Upon being accepted into the group, please pay your $500 deposit to confirm your spot. ​ Registration Deposit Link Final Payment Link ​ CONTACT INFO: Pastor Todd Fink Phone: (541) 603-0881 Email: Websites: NEXT STEPS ​ 1. Upon receiving and accepting your form, we will notify you of availability and acceptance into the tour trip group. 2. Upon being accepted into the group, please pay your $500 deposit to confirm your spot. ​ Registration Deposit Link Final Payment Link ​ 3. In the meantime, check out our video teachings to the left, or see other info about Holy Land Trip orientation, etc. CONTACT INFO: ​ Pastor Todd Fink Phone: (541) 603-0881 Email: Websites: TOUR HOSTS Dr. Todd & Letsy Fink - Tour Hosts More about the Finks

  • Caesarea Maritima Overview: Holy Spirit Given to Gentiles, Apostle Paul Prisoned, Appeals to Caesar |

    Caesarea Maritima Overview Photo Gallery Places of Interest Caesarea Maritima Overview Location Caesarea is located on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, about 35 miles (56 km.) north of Joppa. Historical Background 1. Caesarea was built by Herod the Great about 25 to 13 BC as the port city called “Caesarea Maritime.” It was built on the site of a Phoenician and Greek trade post known as Straton's Tower. The Phoenicians were maritime merchants of the ancient world. 2. It was named after the Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar. Augustus Caesar was the first Roman Emperor to declare himself a god and demand to be worshiped. A temple was built here to honor and worship Caesar Augustus as a god. ​ Interestingly, Christ was born in this time period and was viewed as a competing God. 3. King Herod the Great was the one who had all the children 2 years and younger slaughtered in Bethlehem in his attempt to kill Christ. He was a jealous king who feared losing his power and control. 4. King Herod built Caesarea out of nothing and was a master builder. Some of his major building projects included: This seaport of Caesarea An enlarged Temple Mount platform and temple in Jerusalem. Masada The Herodian by Bethlehem Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron Palace in Jericho 5. He was known for his building ventures, and no one equaled him in this respect. 6. Caesarea was the largest seaport in the Roman Empire during the time of Herod. 7. Caesarea was the capital of Israel during the time of Christ and the whole Roman occupation of Israel. ​ 8. Herod had architects that were the best in the world, even better than those of the Roman Empire. ​ 9. During the Byzantine period, Caesarea became an important Christian center. During this period, the Byzantines built a church over the ruins of the temple built to worship Augustus Caesar. ​ 10. The remains of a 5th-century synagogue found on the seashore north of the harbor have also been discovered. The rectangular building faces south towards Jerusalem. Architectural details were found in its ruins, including capitals with a carved menorah, a column inscribed with the name shalom, and parts of a Hebrew inscription listing the twenty-four priestly courses in the Temple in Jerusalem. 11. The Church Father Origen founded a Christian academy in the city, which included a library of 30,000 manuscripts. At the beginning of the 4th century, the theologian Eusebius, who served as Bishop of Caesarea, composed here his monumental Historia Ecclesiastica on the beginnings of Christianity and the Onomasticon, a comprehensive geographical-historical study of the Holy Land. Places of Interest (Please See Maps Above) 1. Crusader Fortress Entrance 2. Crusader Fortress 3. Temple to Caesar Augustus 4. Byzantine Church Built Over the Temple to Augustus Caesar 5. 5th Century Synagogue 6. Caesarea Harbor 7. Caesarea Historic Port 8. Governor's Palace 9. Mosaic Hall 10. Hippodrome 11. Roman Toilet 12. Submerged Garden Castle 13. Paul Appeals to Caesar 14 . Pontius Pilate Stone 15 . Promontory Palace 16 . Caesarea Columns 17 . Roman Theater Caesarea in the Bible 1. After the Apostle Paul received Christ, he was sent to Tarsus from this seaport. Acts 9:30: And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 2. Cornelius, the first Gentile to receive the Holy Spirit, lived here. Acts 10:1–8: At Caesarea , there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” 7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, 8 and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. 3. Caesarea was the place where the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles. Acts 10:44–48: While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. 4. King Herod Agrippa the 1st, the son of Herod the Great, met his death in Caesarea. Acts 12:21–24: On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!" 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. 24 But the word of God increased and multiplied. ​ 5. Philip the Evangelist lived in Caesarea. Acts 21:8: On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 6. The Apostle Paul sailed to and from Caesarea on his missionary travels. Acts 21:7–8: When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted the brothers and stayed with them for one day. 8 On the next day, we departed and came to Caesarea , and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 7. The Apostle Paul stood trial here for his faith. Acts 23:33–35: When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34 On reading the letter, he asked what province he was from. And when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, "I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive." And he commanded him to be guarded in Herod's Praetorium. 8. The Apostle Paul was imprisoned here for 2 years because of his faith. Acts 24:27: When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. ​ It’s possible that Paul wrote some of the Prison Epistles in Caesarea during the 2 years he spent here in prison. 9. After spending 2 years of imprisonment in Caesarea, the Apostle Paul sailed from Caesarea to Rome, where he stood trial for his faith. Acts 25:8, 11: Paul argued in his defense, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense. Paul then declares, in verse 11 “I appeal to Caesar.” ​ 10. It was one of the key places from which the gospel would be taken to the whole world. Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth. ​ Faith Lesson from Caesarea 1. The Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles here. This shows that God loves all people from all races and backgrounds and wants them to be saved. 2. Paul spent 2 years in prison here because of his faithfulness to Christ. It’s possible he wrote some of the Prison Letters while here. We, too, should be willing to suffer like Paul for the gospel's advancement. 3. God opposes the proud and caused King Herod Agrippa the 1st, the son of Herod the Great, to meet his death here because of his arrogance. We should be certain we always give God the glory for what He does through us and avoid pride in our lives. ​ 4. It's very likely that early Christians were martyred in the hippodrome here for their faith. What price are we willing to pay for our faith in Christ?

  • Jesus' Miracle of Feeding the 5,000: Location, Teaching |

    Feeding the 5,000 Photo Gallery Places of Interest Feeding the 5,000 Location 1. The traditional site of this miracle is at Tabgha, located on the northwestern side of the Sea of Galilee. 2. However, we believe this miracle most likely took place on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, south of Bethsaida a bit. 3. Scripture says Jesus and His disciples were headed to Bethsaida, a desolate, or deserted place (Mark 6:31; Luke 9:10). Tabgha is in a very populated area and on the opposite side of the sea from Bethsaida. 4. The large population area was from Tiberias to Capernaum (the northwestern side). The deserted area was on the northeastern and eastern sides of the sea. 5. Bethsaida was a small fishing village and was about the only town on the northeastern side of the sea. 6. Immediately after feeding the 5,000, Jesus ordered His disciples to cross over to the other side of the sea (Matt. 14:22). 7. While the disciples were crossing over to the other side is when a strong storm arose. Jesus walked on water (Peter attempted to as well), and Jesus calmed the storm. 8. The storm seems to have changed the course of their destination as Scripture says that they ended up arriving in the area of Gennesaret (Matt. 14:34–36). 9. Gennesaret is located on the northwestern side of the sea where all the population is. 10. Gennesaret is less than 2 miles (3 Km.) south of Tabgha. If the miracle happened at Tabgha, going from Tabgha to Gennesaret wouldn’t be crossing over the other side of the sea as both towns are close-by to each other. ​ 11. After Christ arrived at Gennesaret, many heard he had arrived, and a large multitude gathered for healing. If Christ had just been in the area of Tabgha, it wouldn't make sense that a large crowd would gather again right after Christ had just been there. ​ 12. From the location of the feeding of the 5,000, the disciples headed in the direction toward Bethsaida and Capernaum (Mark 6:45; John 6:16–17). Therefore, they had to be enough south of Bethsaida to head in that direction by boat. 13. For these reasons, we believe the best biblical location for the feeding of the multitude is just south of Bethsaida in this open, flat area. It seems to fit the text and the geography of the land best. Historical Background 1. This miracle happened just after Jesus had sent out the 12 disciples to preach and heal throughout Israel (Luke 9:1–9). 2. You would think after being used so mightily by God that the disciples would have had more faith. 3. It also took place just after the death of John the Baptist (Matt. 14:1–12). 4. Jesus and His disciples were headed to the remote area of Bethsaida to rest after the long ministry period they had just finished (being sent out two by two, preaching and healing). Mark 6:30–32: The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 5. However, instead of resting, a huge ministry opportunity awaited them. Mark 6:33–34: Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 6. Scripture mentions that there were 5,000 who were fed, not including women and children. This means there could easily have been 15,000 people or more present. Places of Interest (Please See Maps Above) 1. Bethsaida 2. Tabgha 3. Gennesaret 4. Tiberias 5. Feeding of the 5,000 location 6. Likely place they arrived and departed with their boat 7. Desolate side of the Sea of Galilee 8. Populated side of the Sea of Galilee 9. Sea of Galilee Feeding of the 5,000 in the Bible 1. Feeding the multitude Luke 9:10–11: On their return, the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Luke 9:12–17: Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, "Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place." 13 But he said to them, "You give them something to eat." They said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people." 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. 2. Interestingly, there were twelve baskets. This was no accident as there were 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles. 3. After feeding the 5,000, the disciples encountered a huge storm. Christ walked on water, calmed the storm, and then they arrived on the northwest side of the sea at Gennesaret (Matt. 14:34–36). 4. The crowd Jesus fed later approached Jesus to make Him King; however, Jesus rebuked them. John 6:25–27: When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" 26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." Faith Lesson from Feeding the 5,000 1. The disciples should have had more faith after being used mightily by God to preach and heal many people. What about us? Do we lack faith after seeing all God has done for us and others? 2. The crowd later approached Jesus to make Him King. However, Jesus rebuked them because they were just seeking what He could do for them and weren’t interested in true discipleship. Do we tend only to want God’s blessings but no discipleship, sacrifice, suffering, or persecution? 3. Like the crowd Jesus fed, today, many people come to God for help and want to be fixed up. However, they don’t want Christ to be the Lord of their lives. Do we embrace the lordship of Christ or do we just want our problems solved and then continue living as we please? 4. God also cares for our spiritual needs and likens Himself to spiritual bread. Are you laboring for the bread that endures to eternal life or are you more focused on temporary things that will soon fade away? 5. Are we feeding our souls daily with God’s Word and the Bread of Life? John 6:35: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never become hungry, and the one who believes in me will never become thirsty.” Matthew 4:4: It is written, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

  • House of Caiaphas: Peter's Denial of Christ, Church of St. Gallicantu |

    House of Caiaphas ~ St. Peter In Gallicantu Photo Gallery Places of Interest House of Caiaphas ~ St. Peter In Gallicantu Church Location 1. The House of Caiaphas, also known as the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu (cock's crow in Latin) is located on the eastern slope of Mount Zion, just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. 2. It can be accessed by Malki Tsedek Street 3. It is administered by the Roman Catholic Church. Historical Background 1. The church consists of four levels: (1) the upper church (2) the middle church (3) the guardroom, and (4) the cistern (dungeon). 2. According to tradition, the church is the believed site of the House of Caiaphas. ​ 3. A Byzantine church was built on this site in 457 AD. 4. It was later destroyed by Muslims in 1010. 5. It was rebuilt by the Crusaders in 1102 and given its present name. 6. It was destroyed in 1219 by the Turks. 7. Later, a chapel was built in 1300. 8. The church fell in ruins again by 1320. 9. The church that exists today was rebuilt in 1931. ​ Places of Interest 1. In the Courtyard of the church is a statue that recalls the events of Peter’s denial of Jesus. It shows Peter, the rooster that crowed, a maid, a servant, and a Roman soldier. 2. On the roof of the church is a rooster on a black cross, a symbol of Peter’s denial of Christ before the cock crowed. 3. The main sanctuary, located on the first floor, contains large multi-colored mosaics portraying figures from the New Testament. 4. On the second floor is a chapel that utilizes stone from ancient grottos as its walls. It also has mosaics from a 5th-century Byzantine church that previously existed at this site. 5. Above the cistern is the Guard Room. It overlooks the cistern (dungeon). 6. On the lower floor is a cistern (dungeon) where it’s believed Christ was placed the night after He was tried and condemned by Caiaphas. 7. Ruins and excavations outside the church at ground level. ​ 8. A walkway with steps that run beside the church that was used for ascending and descending from Mount Zion to the Kidron Valley. They were most likely used by Jesus and His disciples as they went from the Upper Room, where they celebrated the Passover meal on Mount Zion, to the Garden of Gethsemane. Later, Christ would use these same steps as He was brought from Gethsemane, which led through the Kidron Valley, to the House of Caiaphas. 9. Upper viewing area where many sites can be seen. One of them is the Akeldama Monastery, which marks the place called the Field of Blood. The religious leaders purchased this property with the money Judas threw at their feet just before he went and hanged himself. 10. Upper Room 11. Mount Zion 12. Kidron Valley 13. Garden of Gethsemane House of Caiaphas in the Bible 1. Christ foretells that Peter will deny Him 3 times. Mark 14:27–31: And Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." 29 Peter said to him, "Even though they all fall away, I will not." 30 And Jesus said to him, "Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times ." 31 But he said emphatically, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you." And they all said the same. 2. Jesus appeared before Caiaphas, the High Priest, just after being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:57–68: Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'" 62 And the high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death." 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?" Luke 22:63–65: Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?" 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him. 3. Peter denies Christ. Matthew 26:69–75: Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, "You also were with Jesus the Galilean." 70 But he denied it before them all , saying, "I do not know what you mean." 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." 72 And again he denied it with an oath : "I do not know the man." 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you." 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man ." And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times ." And he went out and wept bitterly. ​ 4. It’s believed Jesus spent the night in a cistern (dungeon) at the House of Caiaphas before being taken to Pilate the next morning. Matthew 27:1–2: When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. Faith Lesson from the House of Caiaphas 1. Peter had walked with Christ for 3 ½ years. He had heard numerous times that Christ would die and rise again. 2. Just hours before Peter’s denial of Christ, he said he would suffer and die with Christ if need be. But when reality set in, he abandoned Christ and denied Him 3 times. 3. He later wept bitterly and thought his relationship with Christ and ministry was finished. However, Christ restored Peter to fellowship and ministry at the Sea of Galilee. 4. How we can deny Christ in our own lives? Do we deny His word, the truths in His word, or the clarity of the gospel in any way? ​ Do we deny we know Him by remaining silent when Christ or the Bible are attacked, slandered, or diminished? ​ Do we deny Him by not sharing the gospel with others? ​ Do we deny Christ by not spending time with Him in prayer, daily devotions, and Bible reading? ​ Do we deny Christ when it cost us to be identified with Him or persecuted for our faith in Him? ​

  • Tel Gezer, Israel: On the Crossroads of the World, Joshua, Via Maris, Canaanites |

    Tel Gezer: On the Crossroads of the World Photo Gallery Places of Interest Gezer: On the Crossroads of the World Location 1. Gezer is in the eastern foothills of the coastal plain (Shaphelah) of western Israel. It is about 14 miles (22.5 km.) east of the Mediterranean Sea and about 19 miles (30.5 km.) west of Jerusalem. Tel Aviv sits about 17 miles (27 km.) to the northwest of Gezer. 2. Gezer was on the international north-south travel route called the Via Maris. It was also on a major east-west route that linked the coastal plain to Jerusalem and beyond. The Via Maris connected three continents, Africa, Asia, and Europe. This location is significant because Israel forms a narrow land bridge to connect these three continents. To the east is a desert and to the west is the Mediterranean Sea. This forced trade and travelers to use the Via Maris. Whatever happened in Israel was taken to the known world at that time. 3. Whoever controlled Gezer controlled the trade and influence of the ancient world in biblical times. 4. God, in His sovereignty, placed Israel on the crossroads of the known world so they could be a light to the world and communicate His message to them. 5. Gezer was in the territory of Ephraim. Historical Background 1. Gezer is one of the largest tels in Israel. 2. Whoever controlled Gezer had significant control over the ancient world. 3. Gezer began to be inhabited some 5,000 years ago. 4. It has around 21 layers of civilizations. 5. A tel is a mound of earth that develops as one civilization builds upon another. 6. The Canaanites first lived here from around 3000 BC to around 2000 BC. ​ 7. Sadly, there has been found on this site many sacrificed babies. 8. When the Israelites arrived in 1406 BC, they failed to drive out the Philistines and occupy Gezer. 9. As a result, the Philistines lived here from around 2000 BC until King David subdued them in around 1000 BC. 10. Gezer existed during the time of Christ. 11. Gezer is mentioned 14 times in the Bible. 12. During the Hasmonean revolt (167 BC), the Jews lived close to Gezer and used it for battle purposes. 13. The Ottomans (15th and 16th centuries) lived here as well. Places of Interest 1. Parking 2. Canaanite Tower 3. Canaanite Gate 4. Water System 5. Sheikh's Tomb 6. Israelite City 7. Solomon’s Gate 8. Standing Stones 9. Lookout Point Gezer in the Bible 1. In the conquest of the Promised Land, God gave the Israelites victory over Gezer. Joshua 10:33: Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish. And Joshua struck him and his people, until he left none remaining. 2. The tribe of Ephraim was allotted Gezer, but they didn’t fully drive out its inhabitants and conquer them. Joshua 16:10: However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer , so the Canaanites have lived in the midst of Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor. 3. Gezer was one of the cities given to the Kohathite clans of the Levites. It was also a city of refuge. Joshua 21:20–22: As to the rest of the Kohathites belonging to the Kohathite clans of the Levites, the cities allotted to them were out of the tribe of Ephraim. 21 To them were given Shechem, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, 22 Kibzaim with its pasturelands, Beth-horon with its pasturelands-four cities. 4. King David, some 200 years later, conquered the Philistines who lived in Gezer. 2 Samuel 5:25: Then David did so, just as the Lord had commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer . 5. After King David, it appears Egypt also conquered Gezer and gave it to Solomon, who rebuilt and fortified it. 1 Kings 9:15–17: And this is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon drafted to build the house of the Lord and his own house and the Millo and the wall of Jerusalem and Hazor and Megiddo and Gezer 16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and had killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife; 17 so Solomon rebuilt Gezer ) and Lower Beth-horon. Faith Lesson from Gezer 1. In the same way Gezer is on a hill found on the crossroads of the world, we too have been placed by God in the world to influence those around us. 2. Unlike the Ephraimites who failed to conquer Gezer and attain what God had promised them, we should subdue what God wants us to become and accomplish for Him. 3. Like the standing stones at Gezer, we should be firm in our faith and persevere under persecution and pressure. We should not allow the world to mold us, but instead, we should impact the world for Christ. ​ ​

  • Mary's Tomb, Jerusalem, Church of the Sepulchre of Mary |

    Mary's Tomb Photo Gallery Places of Interest Mary's Tomb Location The Tomb of Mary (mother of Jesus), also known as the Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary, is located just a little north of the Garden of Gethsemane in the Kidron Valley. Historical Background 1. The New Testament is silent regarding the death and burial of Mary, but strong Christian tradition places her tomb at this site. 2. The church is in an underground rock-cut cave in the shape of a cross. It has a wide staircase leading down to the church. It is dimly lit and has blackish ceilings due to centuries of candle burning. 3. The church began as burial caves that were cut into rock in the 1st century. 4. These caves were later expanded in 455 AD into a cross-shaped church with the tomb of Mary in its center. 5. The large crypt containing the empty tomb in the church is all that remains of an early 5th-century church. 6. In the 6th century, an octagon shaped church was built on the upper level, covering the tomb. However, it was destroyed in the Persian invasion in 614. 7. During the Crusader period (1130), the church was rebuilt and included a Benedictine monastery called the Abbey Church of St. Mary of Jehosaphat. Virtually everything was destroyed by Saladin in 1187 with the exception of the south entrance and staircase. 8. After the Crusaders left, the site was taken over by Franciscans. Since that time, it has been shared by Greeks, Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Abyssinians, and Muslims. 9. Muslims also worship here, and in the wall to the right of the Tomb of Mary is a mihrab niche giving the direction of Mecca. It was installed after Saladin’s conquest in the 12th Century. 10. According to Catholic tradition, Mary ascended into heaven. Her tomb at this church is empty and is a shrine honoring this event. However, there is no proof of Mary ascending to heaven and Protestants believe Mary died a natural death. Places of Interest 1. The modern upper level of the church. 2. Forty-seven steps leading down to the dimly lit church. 3. On the way down the steps, there are 2 chapels. On the left side is the chapel of Joseph, Mary's husband, and on the right side is the chapel of Mary's parents, Hanna (Anna) and Joachim. 4. Mary’s Chapel 5. Mary’s Tomb 6. Copt altar 7. Garden of Gethsemane 8. Kidron Valley (Valley of Jehoshaphat) 9. Temple Mount ​ The Life of Mary in the Bible 1. Mary was a godly woman who had the privilege of being the mother of Jesus. Luke 1:26–31: Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 2. Mary treasured the privilege of being Christ’s earthly mother. Luke 2:19: But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 3. Being the mother of Jesus would come with a high price. Luke 2:34–35: And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” 4. Mary was an obedient woman, submitting to God and her husband in all things. Matthew 2:13: Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” 5. Because Christ’s earthly father, Joseph, is not mentioned after Christ was 12 years old, and because Christ entrusted the Apostle John with her care at His death, it appears she became a widow at an early age. John 19:25–27: But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. 6. Mary did not remain a virgin as she had 4 other sons and several daughters after Jesus was born. Matthew 15:55–56: Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? 7. Mary witnessed the crucifixion of her Son on the Cross. John 19:25: Therefore, the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 8. Mary continued to support the apostles and was part of serving the cause of Jesus after His resurrection. Acts 1:14: All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus , and his brothers. Faith Lesson from the Life of Mary 1. Mary was a deeply devoted woman to be honored, but nowhere in Scripture is she worshiped or are we commanded to worship or pray to her. 2. We could learn a lot from the life of Mary and should emulate her faith and devotion to God. 3. Mary was highly favored by the Lord because of her obedience to Him. When we obey and seek the Lord, we are favored by Him as well. 4. Our obedience doesn’t earn God’s love, but it does bring blessing and favor. 5. Contrary to what many believe, Mary did not stay a virgin. The Bible says she had 4 sons and other daughters. We should believe the Bible over what any church or religion teaches. 6. What is your highest authority in life, God and His Word, or what people say? ​

Holy Land Site

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Biblical Sites


Israel Overview Tour of All Biblical Sites

Jerusalem Sites


Jerusalem Overview

Jerusalem Holy Sites Overview


Antonia Fortress

Bethany: Tomb of Lazarus

Chapel of the Ascension: Ascension & Return of Christ

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

City of David Overview

Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ


Dominus Flevit Church: Triumphal Entry

Eastern Gate


Garden of Gethsemane: Church of All Nations


Gordon's Garden Tomb


Gethsemane to Golgotha:

Christ's Path to the Cross

Hezekiah's Broad Wall


Hinnom Valley Overview


House of Caiaphas: Peter's Denial of Christ


Kidron Valley: Judgment of God


Mary's Tomb


Mount of Olives Overview


Pater Noster Church: Lord's Prayer, Olivet Discourse

Pilate's Palace: Trial of Jesus

Pools of Bethesda & St. Anne 



Pool of Siloam

Prophecy, Proof the Bible Is True: Mount of Olives


Solomon's Temple

Southern Stairs/Davidson Archaeological Site

Temple Mount Overview

Temple Location

Temple Mount: Pentecost


Temple Cleansing by Jesus


Temple & the Early Church

Tomb of King David

Tombs of the Prophets

The Old Testament Feasts & Jesus


The Upper Room

Via Dolorosa


History Of Jerusalem's Walls and Gates


Western Wall & Tunnels Tour

Other Sites In Jerusalem

Sea of Galilee Sites


Sea of Galilee Overview




Calling of the Disciples


Capernaum: Jesus' Ministry Base




Feeding the 5,000

Gennesaret: Jesus Boat


Jesus Walks on Water, Calms the Sea


Kursi: Demonic Man Healed


Magdala: Mary Magdalene


Mount Arbel: The Great Commission

Mount of Beatitudes


Sower's Cove: Parables of the Kingdom


Tabgha: Restoration of Peter

Yardenit Baptismal Site

Other Sites Around the Sea of Galilee

Northern Israel Sites


Beth Shean

Beth Shean Amphitheater


Caesarea Maritima Overview

Caesarea Maritima: Holy Spirit Given to the Gentiles


Caesarea Philippi


Cana: First Miracle of Jesus

Church of the Annunciation & St. Joseph Church

Dan (City of Dan)

Gideon's Spring


Jezreel Overview

Jordan River Overview

Megiddo: Armageddon


Mount Carmel & Elijah

Mount Tabor: Transfiguration of Christ


Nazareth Overview


Nazareth: Mt. Precipice

Sepphoris (Tsipori, Zippori)


Other Sites In Northern Israel


Central Israel Sites






Ein Karem (Kerem)


Emmaus Road 


Gezer: On Crossroads of the World

Gibeon - Nabi Samwil



Inn of the Good Samaritan


Jericho ~ Tell Es-Sultan


Joppa (Jaffa, Yafo) Overview

Jordan River: Crossing into the Promised Land

Jordan River Baptismal Site of Jesus (Qsar al-Yahud)

Judean Wilderness

Judean Wilderness: Testing of Jesus

Mount Nebo & Moses

Philistine Cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza, Ekron, Gath

Qumran: Dead Sea Scrolls


Samaria (Sabastia)



Shechem: Jacob's Well


Shiloh: Center of Worship

St. George's Monastery (Wadi Qelt)

Timnah: Life of Samson

Valley of Elah: David & Goliath

Other Sites In Central Israel

Southern Israel Sites




Beer Sheba: The Patriarchs


Bethlehem Overview

Bethlehem: Church of Nativity


Bethlehem: David & the Psalms

Bethlehem: Naomi, Ruth, Boaz


Bethlehem: Shepherds' Field

Dead Sea Area


En-Gedi: Living Waters


Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai




Hebron Overview

Hebron Caves of Machpelah

Herodian (Herodium) Fortress

Oaks of Mamre, Hebron


Kadesh Barnea





Mount Sinai


Sodom & Gomorrah

The Philistines & Their City Strongholds


Timna Park: Tabernacle, Moses


Other Sites In Southern Israel

Other Biblical Sites

Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai

Madaba ( Map), Jordan

Mount Nebo & Moses


Noah's Ark & the Great Flood


Noah's Ark Location


Petra, Jordan

Biblical Series


Life & Ministry of Jesus Series

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