Rolling in the Footsteps of Jesus in Northern Israel

Israel is a sacred land for several major religions, notably Judaism, Christianity and Islam. I love learning about history and what different religions practice, but as someone that grew up in the southern U.S. I’ll admit that I do know a lot more about Christianity. in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

Some of my earliest memories involve church. I remember putting on Christmas plays and doing arts and crafts at vacation bible school (basically a weeklong day camp at church). While I did enjoy those times, I haven’t been to church in years, but I still like learning more about Christianity or any other religion. I do respect all religions and hope that you can appreciate this article for what it is: a look into some of Christianity’s most holy places in northern Israel.

It was truly incredible to see these places in person and trace the footsteps of Jesus. This was a fascinating tour, whether you are a devout Christian or even if you don’t practice any religion.

in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

Sea of Galilee

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

The big draw to northern Israel is undoubtedly the Sea of Galilee. With it’s gorgeous views, I was in awe as soon as I saw it for the first time. It should be noted that this sea is actually a lake though. In fact, it is Israel’s largest freshwater lake. It is fed by the Jordan River and is about 13 miles long, 7 miles wide, and at its deepest point it’s only 150 feet deep.

There are many hotels set up around the Sea of Galilee since this has become a popular spot for tourists. I stayed at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Tiberius (Check prices for this hotel by clicking here!) and absolutely loved the hotel. It had stunning views of the sea, was near quite a few attractions, and we were even able to walk over to a delicious dinner at Decks Restaurant. If you are thinking of visiting this area, trust me, this is the place to stay.

So, are you wondering why the Sea of Galilee is in Jesus’ footsteps? Well, his footsteps are actually on top of the water because this is where Jesus is said to have walked on water. I was extremely tempted to roll out on the water and give it a try, but I didn’t want to risk getting an electric shock in case my chair couldn’t do it.

in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

Capernaum

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

The small fishing village known as Capernaum is located on the Sea of Galilee. When I arrived to it, I was immediately entranced by its charm and felt like I was going back in time to an earlier era.

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

During its peak in the time of Jesus, Capernaum was home to approximately 1,500 people. This is actually where Jesus lived during the years of his ministry when he was about 30 years old. As I rolled around what was once the village, I could picture what Capernaum was like thousands of years ago. I saw a synagogue and some of the ruins of the village were still there. To be an ancient village, Capernaum was surprisingly wheelchair friendly as well.

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

Since this was where Jesus lived during his ministry, several miracles are said to have been performed here. In Capernaum, Christianity says that Jesus healed a paralyzed man, cast out an evil spirit from a possessed man, and made a sick woman’s fever go away simply by touching her.

in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

The Ancient Galilee Boat

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

In 1986, an ancient boat was discovered in the Sea of Galilee. Researchers had never seen anything like it before and were immediately fascinated. They started inspecting it and by dating the nails and pottery on the boat, they uncovered that it was actually from the 1st century, during the time of Jesus.

The Ancient Galilee Boat, also known as the Jesus Boat, is so popular that there is an entire museum devoted to it now. The museum was completely accessible. In addition to marveling the boat, you can shop in the souvenir store, eat at the cafe, and watch a short film all about the boat. It was incredible to see the boat in person and wonder whose boat it was a couple thousand years ago; it very well could have been Jesus’.

in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

Mount of Beatitudes

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

If you know anything about Christianity, then you have surely heard of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gave this Sermon from the Mount of Beatitudes, which you can visit in northern Israel. The eight Beatitudes are displayed on the mount and as I rolled up to the main chapel at the top, I read each and every one of them. Some of my personal favorite Beatitudes were:

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Whether you’re religious or not, I think we can agree that these are good mantras to live by.

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

Once I got to the top, after a short stroll, I went into the chapel. This chapel was built in 1939, but was wheelchair friendly with ramps and plenty of space to maneuver around. The chapel wasn’t huge, but it was beautiful and definitely worth visiting.

in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

Church of the Multiplication

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

The story behind this church is one of the most talked about miracles in the Bible. In this supposed spot, Jesus fed 5,000 people with just 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread. Whether this is the exact spot where the feeding happened or not is a bit of a mystery, but it very well could be and still is a great sight worth visiting.

 

 in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

The church was wheelchair accessible with ramps and had a simple, but gorgeous, design. I lit a candle in the church in honor of my great grandmother that passed away the day before I visited this church. It was a somber and touching moment that I won’t soon forget.


in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

When you’re thinking of visiting Israel, you probably immediately think of rolling through the alleyways of Jerusalem or even lounging on the beaches of Tel Aviv like I did. To be honest, I never even thought of seeing northern Israel and the Sea of Galilee region until this most recent trip, but I am so glad that I did. It was remarkable to see some of Christianity’s holiest sights in person and learn more about the history of this region. Whether you’re religious or not, consider a trip to this beautiful part of the Holy Land.

in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

*Thank you to the Israel Ministry of Tourism and Israel 4 All for hosting me. All opinions are authentic and my own.

in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

 

in the footsteps of jesus in galilee

c

2 Comments

  • Wow Cory. Reading this was like a trip back to my 12 years of Catholic school. From the sea to the stories and the fascinating feel of Galilee I do have to visit one day. My nun teachers would be happy I did 😉

    Ryan

  • Would love to visit Israel someday! My friend who was born and raised in Israel mentioned that they go to the Church of Nativity (place where Jesus was born) every week for Mass. Very lucky for them.
    I didn’t know their boats are much different. Travelling really widens the mind.

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