Amazing Journey


Mark 1:21-23 and 29-31
They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. They were amazed at His teaching for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

And immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.  No Simons mother-in-law was lying sick with fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her.  And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them.

These bible passages literally came to life for me on 15 November at roughly 1 O’clock in the afternoon.  I can say that pretty exactly because that’s when Pastor Dave, Pastor Milt, Lizzy, Jill and the rest of the God’s Grace Israel tour group stood in the actual excavated village of Capernaum that existed in 33 A.D. Even more remarkable was our wonderful tour guide, Yehuda Ashkenazi explaining to us that we were standing in front of the actual 
remains of Peter’s house.   “Yes”, Yehuda explained, "archeologists had through excavation of evidence and genealogical tracing proved that this was the actual house that Peter lived in in Capernaum.”


So this was the place that Jesus stood and healed Peter's mother-in-law.  This was the place that Jesus made his headquarters in Galilee.  I am still trying to process this experience today.

Remains of Peter's house in Capernaum

As if that wasn’t enough, Yehuda asked us to follow him across the way to the remains of a 13th century synagogue that was still under archeological examination.  Gently pointing out the history of this place and the unique features ( moveable Torah, doors facing south and a place for women) he then nonchalantly led us over to a small excavated corner of the synagogue floor showing older stones that looked like the ones we saw at Peter's house. “Look here,”he said, “What do you think this is?” We provided some best guesses and Yehuda smiled that smile all of us knew lovingly meant “You are all wrong.” “This”, he said, “is the synagogue that Jesus taught in while headquartered 
in Capernaum.


Mark Chapter 1 verse 21 just hit me right between the eyes!  I really can’t describe all the emotion going through me as I stood and looked down at this place.  Looking back on the experience I am hit with the assurance and peace that what we have in God’s word, what we read and what we hear is historical, revealed and inspired by God.  The disciples, used by God, preserved accurately what God intended us to know about Him.

The synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus taught.

The tour of Israel was amazing, incredible, enlightening and just a joy to undertake. A visit to Israel will change your worldview, historical perspective, enhance your spiritual journey and refresh your soul.  If you are ever considering a possible trip, talk to the group that went and we’ll be glad to encourage your further.

Happy Thanksgiving, God Bless and Peace

Very Respectfully,

Matthew Schneider

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