And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23
A Day Filled With Water
Day three of our Journey through Israel was very aquatic. We started the day off sailing around the Sea of Galilee. What a thought to be on the same water that Jesus sailed on, to look out over the landscape of where a greater part of His ministry took place. While on the boat, we were able to hear a comparison given of the person of Jonah and the person of Jesus – a comparison that Jesus Himself made!
After spending some time on the Sea, we made our way to the Jordan River. Many in our group took this as an opportunity to participate in a baptism service. Again, it was incredible to think that this was the river in which John baptized Jesus – inaugurating His public ministry.
We then took a long drive down the eastern coast of Israel – looking over into modern day Jordan. On our way south (we were headed to the Dead Sea) we stopped in at Qum’ran. This community is most known as the location of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. What a rich opportunity to consider the preservation of ancient texts! Here is a photo of part of an Isaiah Scroll:
Perhaps the most interesting experience of the day was floating in the Dead Sea. It was late at night, there was a full moon, and off Paul (a fellow elder) and I go to the Dead Sea to float.
As I look back on the day, it struck me that we moved from life to death. The Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River both teem with life; the Dead Sea is just that – dead. And what is the difference? The first two have a flow in and out. The Dead Sea only has a flow in. The moral: those who only receive (teaching, grace, compassion, blessing, etc.) will fill up, stagnate, go toxic, and die. Those who receive and give (grace for grace) will exhibit an incredible ability to support life. Is this not the teaching of the Lord: “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8)