Monday 14 March 2016

Israel Day 2 - Sepphoris and Nazareth

The theatre in Sepphoris

Our second day began in Sepphoris, which today is an archeological site and in Jesus' day was the bigger town beside Nazareth. It is believed that Jesus may have worked here before His ministry began. 

It was really cool to see the ruins of this town and hear more about what life would have looked like in Jesus' day.

The theatre in Sepphoris

Our disciplemaking takeaway from our talk here was:

Small things have big significance when they are part of God's redemptive plan.

We talked about how we must always begin with the assumption that God is at work - because He is! And then we can be asking ourselves: what is God doing and how can I join Him?

In what small ways is God asking me to be faithful in joining Him in His work? Learning Czech is a long process filled with many unseen hours - but learning Czech is being faithful in what God has asked me to and I'm excited to learn it well (well, maybe more accurately, I'm excited to speak it well!). And building relationships with people in my community is a long process filled with many little moments but I'm excited to do that so I can share God with those around me.

A traditional lunch!
 After our time in Sepphoris we went to neighbouring Nazareth and started with a traditional lunch. The food was incredible, and throughout the entire trip it was fun to eat meals with and spend time with friends who are serving across central and eastern Europe.

In Nazareth they have a village set up so you can see how life would have looked like in Jesus' day. 

So we saw shepherds.

And a carpenter.

Hannah making wool.
And this lady making wool - and what was used to dye it. Being someone who loves to be crafty I particularly liked this! It was all so fascinating. We also saw how they pressed grapes and olives (two very different processes).

Our guide for our time in Nazareth village.

Our disciplemaking takeaway from the Nazareth village was:

People God uses always have weight below the waterline.

We thought about the people we see God use in the Bible and how they were faithful people who feared God, and had godly character. Without weight below the water a boat will just be forced along by the wind. So what areas of godliness is God asking me to grow in so that I will not just be blown along by circumstances?

Our third stop of the day was the Nazareth precipice, which could be the location of where the people of Nazareth rejected Jesus, and tried to push Him off the mountain, but He "passed through the midst of them and went away."  The valley the Mount overlooks is also the site of a few battles in the Bible - including Gideon and Saul. 

The disciplemaking takeaway from here was:

Without faith it is impossible to please God.

In Mark 6 we read that Jesus couldn't do many miracles in Nazareth because of their lack of faith - they were not without information about God, they were without faith. I want to be someone who not only believes in God but also believes Him - believes that He is who He says He is, and that He can do what His Word says He can do, and that I am who He says I am.

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