Jesus trail & Christianity

Written by Zvika Gasner Koheleth 06-January-2020, photography by Angela Hechtfisch

Nazareth & “Jesus trail”

Visit Nazareth, Jesus hometown. “The Church of the Annunciation” stands over the cave that tradition believes to be the house of Mary. Here, Gabriel told the virgin Mary, that she would become the mother of the Son of God.

In Luke 1:38 Mary uttered her consent:

“Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word”.

Just south of Nazareth in the cliffs of Mt Kedumim is “Mount Precipice”, mentioned in Luke 4:16-30, where traditionally an angry crowd attempted to throw Jesus off after his bold proclamation in the Nazareth synagogue.

Not far from Nazareth visit the Wedding Church in “Kfar Cana” where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine in a wedding feast(John 2: 1-11). It is also mentioned later in John as a place where Jesus heals a royal officials son (John 4:46) and the hometown of the disciple Nathaneal (also called Bartholomew) (John 21:2).

Also, an interesting attraction in Nazareth is the “Nazareth Village” where a full scale live recreation of the life at the time of 1st century AD is shown and can experience 1st hand.

The “Jesus Trail”™ is a 65 km. foot track in the north part of Israel in the Galilee region starting with Nazareth ending up with Mount of the Beatitudes next to the shores of Sea of Galilee that connects important sites from the life of Jesus as well as other historical and religious sites. The track offers pilgrims to experience in authentic pinpoint locations in the journey of life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Begins in Nazareth and passes through Zippori National Park, Cana, Ilaniya, Kibbutz Lavi, the Horns of Hattin, Nebi Shu’eib, Arbel National Park, Migdal, the Jesus Boat at Kibbutz Ginosar, Tabgha, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Capernaum. walking the full program will amount for several days, and a shorter version is also possible. The walking is intended for an advance level. for For more details read here.

Jesus & Caesarea

Visit ancient Caesarea and see Pontius Pilate plate. Pontius was the fifth prefect of the Roman
province of Judaea, serving Emperor Tiberius from the year 26 till 36 and under the Syrian governor. He is best known today for being the official who was in charge of Jesus’s trial, offered his pardon to Jewish leaders, and later ordered his crucifixion on Golgotha, nowadays the Church of the holy sepulture. This stone which was found in 1961 in Caesarea, probably as a temple inscription, is archeological proof of what is found in the New testimony of the life & death of Jesus.

Christianity & Tel Aviv Jaffa

The “Church of Saint Peters” in old Jaffa, the location wherein the “Acts of the Apostles” (Acts 10:11) Petros, the assumed 1st Pope in Rome, had his dream with the voice allowing him (and all Christians) to feed on from all types of meat, an act which is actually the 1st diversion from judaism.

Jesus & Jerusalem

A View of the old city of Jerusalem from the “Mount of Olives”, where Jesus immediately after the last supper, prayed to God and was later arrested in the “Garden of Gethsemane”. Also on the Mount of Olives exits the “Church of All Nations” that enshrines  a section of bedrock where Jesus gave lectures. The Gethsemane was A regular spot for contemplating for Jesus and disciples, during the day and overnight (John 18:2; Luke 21:37).

overview of the Christian quarter including the holiest sites to Christianity going through the 14 stations of Jesus “Via Dolorosa” ending with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre” with the “Golgotha” (the “Calvary”), the “Stone of Anointing”, the Rotunda and the “Aedicule” (Jesus tomb).

Also, walking in the old city next to the Jerusalem’s Zion gate and above “David tomb” is the “Room of the last supper”.

Jesus & Jerico

Drive into the Judean Desert, descending through the canyons of this majestic landscape
At Jericho, one of the Oldest City in the world, when Jesus encountered the blind man (Luke 18:35-43):

“As Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. And he cried out, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!
Jesus stopped. What do you want me to do for you?
The blind beggar said, Lord, let me recover my sight.
And Jesus said to him, Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.
And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”

see the famous “Zacchaeus Sycamore” Tree, which gave generosity half of all his possession and “Mount of Temptation” where Jesus was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:8).

Christianity & Bethlehem

Visit Bethlehem, the village where Jesus was born in the place that now stands the “Church of Nativity”, sees Manger Square where locals and pilgrims sing Christmas carols before the midnight mass, and the “Shepherds Field” in which angels tell some nearby shepherds about the birth of Jesus.

Jesus trail at Tiberias & Sea of Galilee

The “Sea of Galilee” or by its Hebrew name: “Kineret” (a misuse for the word “Kinor” – a violin),
is critically important in the life of Jesus and several sites of this region arise, such as Visit “Magdala”, the hometown of Mary Magdalene, At Kibbutz Ginosar on the shores of the Sea of Galilee the remains of the “Jesus Boat” which was uncovered as a remnant of a fishing boat dating to the 1st century AD, discovered in 1986, Visit the “Mount of Beatitudes” where Jesus delivered his “Sermon on the Mount” , a collection of teachings emphasizes his moral found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters 5, 6, and 7), visit the Jordan river Baptism location of the “Yardenit” at Kibutz-Kinneret substitute the “Qasr-El Yahud” where John baptized Jesus (Matthew, 3: 13-17),  See “Capernaum” on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and the “Church of the Multiplication” (“…of the Loaves and Fish”) where Jesus performed the miracle feeding thousands of its followers.

Christian pilgrimage tours – General info

So there are so many different places and the question is how do we recommend to tour the country in quest of these Jesus related locations. We roughly divided these places into 3 major areas and suggest to do an overnight in the area to minimize logistics and to enjoy fully the theme:

North, which includes Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, and Kfar Kana, so we recommend overnight the “Europe 1917” or the “Scots” hotel in Tiberias. The center includes Tel Aviv and Caesarea, which are preferable to stay in the “Jaffa” hotel in Tel Aviv. South which contains Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Jerico and the best comfortable stayin is the “Biazi” hotel in Jerusalem.

All suggested pilgrims tours can be as short as one day but could last for longer period, depending on how you keep the full program.