Precious Faith (2 Peter 1:1-2)

This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.

2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1:1-2 (WEB)

I have written a lot about the Proverbs lately, and decided to switch gears and move into a New Testament letter. I was reading Peter’s second letter a few days ago, and so thought I would share a few thoughts.

Slave and Apostle

The opening is straightforward enough, and we learn that this letter, like the first one, comes from Simon Peter. Peter is probably Jesus’ most well-known disciple, and a man infamous for leaping in, putting his foot in it and thinking more highly of himself than he ought. He even once dared to “correct” the Lord (see Matthew 16:22).

Yet, for all his pride, Peter denied Christ and this event likely humbled him deeply. As he introduces his second letter, he depicts himself as an apostle yes, but a slave also. Peter could have bowled in, laying down his apostolic rights and demanding to be respected, but instead he refers to himself as a slave. And notice, he says slave first, then apostle.

May I be known as a writer, yes, but a slave first. May others see me as husband and father, of course, but primarily as a servant of Christ.

May I be known as a writer, yes, but a slave first. May others see me as husband and father, of course, but primarily as a servant of #Christ. #Bible

Whatever you “are” in your life, let your servanthood of Jesus be at the top of the list. The word “slave” (rightly) has negative connotations to us, and indeed we tend to prefer servant (although not a great deal more!) If indeed Christ is our Master, and we are fully submitted to Him and His authority, then slave is not a wholly inappropriate term.

I yearn to follow Him more deeply and more fully. I know He loves me and has good things planned for me, and so I joyfully submit to slavery in His care.

Precious Faith

Peter does not address his letter to a particular group. It is not written to a church location, nor to the Jewish believers in a certain place. Instead, he writes to “those who share the same precious faith”

Christians often find many things to disagree about. I could write a list but not sure that would be the most encouraging! Be it points of doctrine, interpretation of Scripture, or the colour of the curtains in the vestry, we can usually find something to debate!

Despite our variety and differences, Peter unites us in sharing “like precious faith.” Whatever our background, whatever our age, whatever our language; whatever else that may differ about each of us, the thing that brings us together is our faith in Jesus Christ.

This faith is not to be taken for granted. Our faith is precious, meaning of great value. We treat precious things with a certain respect, and our faith is no different.

This faith, precious as it is, is not something we have bought or earned. If we read Peter’s words carefully, we learn that our faith has been given to us by God. This is truly astonishing because it shows us that we could not believe in Jesus had God not first placed faith in us.

In my post – Hope Comes Looking – I referred to a course I am currently studying, and the topic of the Lent season was on “predestination”. This is about whether God chose us, or if we chose Him. There are different views, but I now tend towards a view that God first chose us, and that even our faith in Him is entirely dependent on His Sovereign choice. This verse from Peter’s letter shows that even the faith we depend upon is given to us by God.

The WEB translation says we have been given this faith because of Jesus’ justice and fairness. Fairness is one of the reasons some do not agree with the view that God chose whoever He willed, because they deem it “unfair.” It is “unfair” for God to choose some for salvation and not others. I have said it before however, and state the same again now, we do not want fairness from God – we want mercy. Fairness from God is for Him to save no one, and leave us in the sin that stains us.

So, how do we read the above? Most other translations seem to render the words “justice and fairness” as simply “righteousness.” That, to me at least, feels a much better word. God is indeed righteous, and we praise and thank Him for bestowing this precious faith upon us.

Verse two says:

May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1:2 (WEB)

What a powerful little blessing this is. I pray this over every one of my readers today. May you indeed grow in the knowledge of the Lord (and I pray in some small way this post helps with that), and as you do so, may He give you more and more grace and peace.

May God’s grace be evident in your life more and more, and may His peace rule in your heart and your homes today.

Thanks for reading!

Length of Days (Proverbs 3:2)

We studied Proverbs 3:1 yesterday, and I include it here for completeness. Verse 2 is a continuation of the thought, so it is important to remember (no pun intended) what verse one was all about.

My son, don’t forget my teaching;

    but let your heart keep my commandments:

2 for they will add to you length of days,

    years of life, and peace.

Proverbs 3:1-2 (WEB)

Length of Days

Verse two clearly states that if you apply yourself to wisdom’s teaching, then you will have length of days. Put simply, wise people live longer.

This is an obvious truth if you think about it. it is wise to look both ways before your cross the road. It is wise to cut the power before attempting electrical work on your home. It is wise to eat healthily. It is wise to avoid smoking or drinking heavily. If you have worrying symptoms, it is wise to have a doctor check you over sooner rather than later. There are any number of examples we could give.

If we do unwise things, it will certainly shorten our life. We may get away with certain things over a short time, but in the end, foolish choices will catch up with us.

These are largely physical truths. In the natural world we live in, applying wisdom will certainly lengthen our lives. Some suggest there is a spiritual element here too. The mere act of studying the Word can bring health and healing to our bodies. Psalm 107 is sometimes cited as evidence for this.

He sent His word and healed them,

And saved them from their destruction.

Psalm 107:20 *NASB)

As with everything in the Bible, context is key. Are we able to use Psalm 107 to promise believers that God will heal them simply through studying the Word? I will leave you to study that out for yourself and decide.

This verse in Proverbs 3, and the Psalm I mention above, are not the only places in the Bible which link Scripture to length of days, and we will see another example when we reach chapter 4. Whether you see a spiritual dynamic here or not, it is clear that wise choices will prolong your life. That is the point to take from this today, and I hope it encourages you to deploy wisdom’s ways in your life.

Peace

I do not want to move on without picking up on that rather important word in verse two – peace. Verse two tells us that remembering wisdom’s teaching does not just give length of days, but peaceful ones also.

Length of life is hardly a good measure of quality of life. Some of the restrictions imposed on the world by governments during the COVID pandemic were done so to protect life, but really that meant protect length of life. Many argue that while the restrictions did stop some from dying prematurely, it drastically reduced their life quality. I do not wish to enter that debate here, but mention it merely to point out that living 100 years in prison is not a better life than living 60 years in freedom.

Length of life is hardly a good measure of quality of #life #Wisdom #Bible #Christianity

And so this verse points out that wisdom will give length of days, but peace also. Living without peace is hard indeed, and few would choose a long life without it. Peace is a theme of Proverbs too, and later we will see it is better to live in peace and poverty, than in luxury with discord and stress.

In my previous post – Wisdom Shouts Out – we saw another link between wisdom and peace.

Proverbs 1:33 says:

But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:33 (NLT)

As someone who feels they are constantly wrestling with stress, peace feels like a soothing balm. Modern medicine tells us that stress shortens our life, and therefore supports the Bible in teaching us that wisdom leads to peace, and peace (the opposite of stress) lengthens our years.

Peace is a prize; be it peace with others or peace with ourselves, it is something to seek after and hold on to.

#Peace is a prize; be it peace with others or peace with ourselves, it is something to seek after #Bible #Wsidom #Christianity

Let me close by reminding you that life is not measured simply by the number of days you have.

On my wedding day I gave a speech, as you do, and I recall some words which are relevant. I said, “Life is not about how many moments you have, but about the moments that make life worth living.” That probably came from some book or movie, and I do not claim them as my own, but wise nonetheless!

Live the best life you can in whatever time you have, and live wisely! God bless!

Wisdom Shouts Out (Proverbs 1:20-33)

We have been studying Proverbs 1 over the last few days, and today I hope to close out the chapter. There is a fair few verses left, but I will try to group them and talk through the sections.

20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.

    She cries out in the public square.

23 Come and listen to my counsel.

I’ll share my heart with you

    and make you wise.

Proverbs 1:20, 23 (NLT)

Wisdom Cries Out

Wisdom, the thing we have been seeking and the overall purpose of Proverbs, takes on a female persona now and begins to talk to us – the reader.

Wisdom cries out, shouting in the streets and urging us to come and find her. This firstly implies that wisdom will not simply fall in our lap, but rather we must seek after it ourselves. I reflected in an earlier post that it takes effort on our part, and we must engage with the Bible as a whole, and Proverbs in particular, if we want to become wise.

Why does she shout in the street and cry out in the public square? Simply because that is where the people are gathered. Wisdom is on offer to all of us, not just a select few. In fact, and in some of the verses we skipped over, wisdom calls out to “simpletons!” Not so politically correct of course, but again, the point is that no one is excluded. Proverbs aims to help the unwise become wise.

Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise. Prov 1:23 #Bible #Wisdom

Don’t Ignore

24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.

    I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.

25 You ignored my advice

    and rejected the correction I offered.

27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,

    when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,

    and anguish and distress overwhelm you.

Proverbs 1:24-25, 27 (NLT)

The message of this section is clear – do not ignore the call to wisdom!

Wisdom is trying to get our attention, and so often we choose the foolish path. We make our choices based on our feelings, our gut or what others want us to do, and yet those are worldly ways. Our choices must be Bible-based and Spirit-led, for that is the only way to ensure success.

Look at what befalls those who ignore wisdom. They end up in calamity and disaster, with anguish overtaking them. When we go our own way, or follow the world, we will end up in a place we do not want to be. The world offers us no satisfaction, and we will only ever be truly fulfilled by our relationship with God. Remember that the beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and nothing works without that.

Avoid calamity. Avoid distress. Stay well away from the path that leads to disaster. Embrace the wisdom of God, and submerge yourself in His teachings. The bible is the manual for life, and nothing works quite right if we do not follow the user’s guide!

Harsh Words

Wisdom becomes rather harsh in the latter part of our passage. Having offered her help time and time again, and being snubbed by those who think they know better, Wisdom now refuses to answer. The foolish begin to search for her, but it is too late and they can no longer find her.

28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.

    Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.

29 For they hated knowledge

    and chose not to fear the Lord.

30 They rejected my advice

    and paid no attention when I corrected them.

31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,

   choking on their own schemes.

32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.

    Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.

Proverbs 1:28-32 (NLT)

They have hated knowledge and wisdom’s free gift. They have refused her guiding hand and the correction she offers. Verse 29 tells us that they have refused to fear the Lord.

Harsh as it may seem, we only have so many chances to reject God and His ways. A time will come when it will be too late to turn to Him. I do not want that for you! If you have not turned to God, then now is the time. None of us know how long we have, or when it will be too late, so take that critical step right this second!

Fall on your knees before the Lord and cry out to Him for His forgiveness. Ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life, and to save you from your sin. He will not refuse you. While you are at it, ask Him to fill you with wisdom, so that you might live a successful life in service to God.

Live in Peace

33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,

    untroubled by fear of harm.”

Proverbs 1:33 (NLT)

The chapter closes with these words – those who listen will live in peace.

Peace is something we all crave. Like wisdom, peace will not just happen to you, but must be sought. We have the fruit of peace in our hearts (see Galatians 5:22-23), and Jesus left us His peace as part of our inheritance (see John 14:27). Yet, this fruit must be cultivated so that it grows in our lives.

If you seek wisdom, you will find peace also #Bible #Peace #Wisdom

There are many benefits to living wisely, but for me at least, finding peace is enough to convince me.

Wisdom is calling you today, so do not ignore her plea. God, likewise, is knocking at your door, and hoping you will answer. Set your mind and heart towards Him today, and learn of His wisdom. This first chapter of Proverbs is there to convince us of our need for wisdom, and it certainly has me! How about you?

Still on Lockdown

Since being on lockdown here in the UK, time has lost some of its meaning. When the lockdown was first introduced, I wrote a post about it. I genuinely don’t know if that was a week ago or three! Today’s post is something of a follow up to that one. 

The post was called – While on Lockdown– and you can have a read of it by clicking the link. 

In that original post, I wrote about us all being very careful about what we allow into our minds during this rather trying time. I advised everyone to avoid too much negative news and influences that would cause us to worry rather than build us up. 

So many of us constantly read the news, and it is rarely positive. If not on the news sites, then chances are we are exploring social media and this is hardly ever more positive. We must be so careful about this. We absorb this negativity in and it cannot help but do our spirits and minds deep harm. Many have commented on the dangers to mental health of an ongoing lockdown, and feeding that with negative influences will only make things worse. 

I suggested a few ways in which we could limit the negativity, and increase the positivity. Limit your news exposure. Turn off notifications from your favoured news app. Don’t engage with social media which only serves to drag you down. 

I did suggest some positive steps too. Aside from Christian disciplines of prayer and Bible study, try to listen to biblical worship music that will trun your heart to praise. Encourage other believers, and friends and family, and in so doing, be encouraged yourself. 

We have all heard the claim that we have more time now we are not going out all the time or commuting to work. This may be true, but what are we doing with that time?

Most of us are filling it with screens. And the one thing we are not doing – is nothing. 

Do nothing. That’s my advice. 

Hopefully you know me well enough by now, if you’ve read the blog for any length of time, to know that I mean something more by this. 

Chances are that, with the extra time you now have, you are filling it with something. Maybe you are wise enough to not be filling it with any old show from Netflix or diving deep into the YouTube rabbit hole… but what are you doing with it?

May I suggest something?

Firstly, an idea from the apostle Paul. 

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

2 Timothy 2:7 (ESV)

Think. Spend some time just thinking. When was the last time you did that? 

Your brain needs exercise as much as any other part of you. Use it! 

Don’t just let the first thought that comes to you drop into your mind. Think with a purpose. Think about God and His Word. That is what the Bible means when it says “meditation.” 

Meditate on the Word of God. Imagine ourself there, right in the scene, as the narrative is laid out before you. What would it have been like to be present as Jesus fed the five thousand? How about imagining being one who was warming himself by the fire as Peter denied Christ? 

Your mind is a wonderful thing. More often than not these days, we drown out our thoughts with one activity or another. I’m not advising you to be passive, for that is dangerous, but I am urging you to think actively. Discipline your mind and point it in the direction you want it to go. 

If you are not used to it, then you may need to constantly review what it is you are thinking about. Your mind will wander, and you will need to drag it back to the right path over and over again. 

Alongside this, I would recommend you turn off your electronics. Put your phone away, turn off the TV and leave the tablet out of sight. Sit in a comfy chair, inside or outside is fine, and just be still. 

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

When were you last “still”? If you are like me, then it has been a while – a long while. 

I have four children living in my house, and so stillness is not something I’m all that familiar with! Yet it is incredibly valuable. 

Something I have learned is that God will not raise His voice. For me at least, God is rarely willing to shout over my circumstances and make Himself heard over my din. He wants me to sit quietly, and listen hard for His voice. And every single time I do, I hear Him clearly. 

Do you want to hear from God? Then may I suggest you cut out the background noise before you try to listen. 

If normal life is just plain busy, have you found lockdown life any different? Chances are you’ve exchanged one form of “busy” for another. A busy life often makes a good relationship with Jesus rather hard. 

Look at Martha and Mary’s example from the Bible. 

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)

While Martha was “busy” getting everything done, Mary was just sitting at the feet of our Lord. Now Martha is sometimes unfairly criticised here, and actually we need hard workers to succeed. However, when we are in the presence of Christ, the work can be put to one side for a time. 

By all means, use any time you have gained due to COVID restrictions. Learn a language, or how to play an instrument. Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do but have never had time for. But don’t try to fill every waking hour. Set aside some time to be – to just be – and then just “be” with Jesus. 

You won’t regret one minute you spend with Him. 

The Mount of Beatitudes

Pilgrimage to Israel #2

Having spent some time in and around the sea of Galilee, the next step of our pilgrimage took us to the Mount of Beatitudes. This is the mountain where Jesus taught his sermon, and included the eight the attitudes in the eight blessings that he spoke.

You can find these in Matthew five.

Seeing the multitudes, he went up onto the mountain. When he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He opened his mouth and taught them, saying,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.Isaiah 57:1566:2
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they shall be comforted.Isaiah 61:266:10,13
Blessed are the gentle,
    for they shall inherit the earth.[a] Psalm 37:11
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they shall be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:1-12 (WEB)

MtBe

The church of the Beatitudes sits atop a hill, sloping down to the shores of the sea of Galilee. As Jesus preached his sermon on the Mount, we were told He would likely have sat in a boat on the water, with the crowds gathered on the hillside. He would have projected His voice up the hill and it would have acted much like a stadium, allowing the vast numbers of people to hear His blessed words.

The text of the Bible (above) slightly contradicts this however. It states that Jesus would have been on the hillside, likely up high, and the crowds gathered beneath Him. In a similar way, He could have projected His voice downwards enabling all to hear.

Jesus opens his sermon with these eight blessings. I love the sermon on the Mount, but I must confess to struggling with some of these blessings. The meaning can be hard to grasp at times, and living them out can be even more difficult.

What does it mean, for instance, to be poor in spirit? Likewise, how can any of us hope to be pure?

Yet Jesus pronounces special blessings on those who attain these things. The purpose of my post today is not to teach on the Beatitudes, but I can’t help but pause here for a moment to think about the depth of their meaning.

Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness – moral uprightness and to be in right standing with God?

Are you a peacemaker? Are you there, in the midst of conflict, mediating and offering soothing words? How difficult it is to give a soft answer at times, and yet we know a soft answer turns away wrath – Proverbs 15.

Anyway, back to the blog already in progress… you remember, the one about the place – Mount of Beatitudes!

The chapel is beautiful. There is a real sense of peace here. The building is octagonal in shape; one side for each of the eight blessings.

One of the most notable things about this place are the acoustics of the church. As our group moved quietly around, a few of our number with wonderful voices began to sing. If just a few voices can make such a wonderfully uplifting noise, then what must a whole host of angels sound like? I don’t recall even which song was sung, but I just remember the atmosphere as the harmonies surrounded us.

The gardens surrounding the church are not large, but they are well kept and offer wonderful views of the Sea of Galilee. As you walk around the paths, there are signs displaying the text of each of the beatitudes. Time did not allow us to linger there for too long, but I can imagine it being a wonderful place to just walk around and slowly pray through each blessing in turn.

In that peaceful place, it is easy to forget the troubles that still face the land of Israel today. While the Bible teaches that there will be troubled times in Israel and across the world during the latter days, we know that the Prince of peace will one-day put everything right. We may be persecuted, as the blessing tells us, for His name’s sake, but our trouble on earth is but a wisp in comparison to eternity.

Blessed indeed are the peacemakers, and blessed may you be today and every day that you seek to follow Christ.

Sea of Galilee

Pilgrimage to Israel #1

We began our pilgrimage to Israel on a Sunday morning with a simple Eucharist service. Eucharist means “thanksgiving” I’m told, but in some churches is reference to a Communion service.

As I look around the church, I realised we were a mixed bunch. Some knew each other, while others were strangers. Some were Roman Catholic, and some Anglican, and still others claimed no faith at all. Yet we all jurneyed together, and would support one another throughout the week.

We travelled to London Heathrow, and were subject to understandably high levels of security on both sides of our flight. Touching down in Tel Aviv airport in the late evening, we then drove north to the city of Tiberius which was our base for the first part of the trip.

We awoke that first morning with a sense of excitement, and to views from our hotel of the Sea of Galilee.

During my first trip to Israel, the Sea of Galilee was a particular highlight and was again this time. We drove the short distance from our hotel and boarded a wooden boat – supposedly similar to that used by Jesus and His disciples 2,000 years ago. I suspect Peter’s fishing boat did not have a motor nor a sound system however!

Out in the middle of the lake… and it is a lake, not a sea as the name suggests, the engines were turned off and we had a few moments of quiet to take in the scene. While there has been some changes over the years, it is rather easy to imagine Jesus and His friends sat in a boat on these waters, looking out at the various shorelines.

Some places we would visit in the week to come would be memorials of things we read in the Bible. We cannot say with any certainty that things happened in some of the places where we remember them. However, this lake – this Sea of Galilee – was indeed the very waters where Christ was.

Jesus walked on this sea…

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat, and go ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he himself sent the multitude away. 46 After he had taken leave of them, he went up the mountain to pray.
47 When evening had come, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 Seeing them distressed in rowing, for the wind was contrary to them, about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea

Mark 6:45-48 (WEB)

There was once a violent storm which rose up on this very sea, and Jesus calmed it…

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him. 37 A big wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. 38 He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?”

39 He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?”

41 They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Mark 4:35-41 (WEB)

The lake itself isn’t as large as you might imagine. In some respects, it’s difficult to think that such a huge storm could sweep down on to these tranquill waters. Yet to the noth, is a set of mountains and storms can swell and drop down on to the lake with little warning. I’m pleased to report it was calm and sunny while we were there!

What many fail to realise is that most of Jesus’ ministry actually took place in and around this area. When we think of Israel, we may think of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the sites of the Crucifixion or Resurrection. Most of Jesus’ ministry did not occur there, but rather further north in the vicinity of Galilee.

The feeding of the five thousand, the deliverance of Legion, the healing of the man lowered through the roof on a mat… all of these events took place in the north. Even after Jesus’ resurrection, He met them in Galilee. Peter and the disciples were fishing again, and Jesus met them on the shore.

Later that day, we drove around the lake to Merci Christi – meaning Table of Christ. This is the site, it is thought, where Jesus met His disciples after the Resurrection and had breakfast with Him.

That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!”

So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he wrapped his coat around himself (for he was naked), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits away), dragging the net full of fish. So when they got out on the land, they saw a fire of coals there, with fish and bread laid on it. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”

John 21:7-10 (WEB)

Just uphill from the shoreline sits a small chapel called “Merci Christi” meaning Table of Christ.

MC

As you exit the chapel, you can turn left and go and sit on the beach. Is it the spot where Jesus and His disciples ate? Not sure, but could be. And for me, that’s the power of this place. We don’t know the exact spot of such things, but we know – for certain – that Jesus walked these shores.

Some sites we would later visit have almost been commercialised, and it can be hard to imagine Jesus in those places. Not here though, not in Galilee. This peaceful place, where you can sit on a beach and hear the lapping of the water, this place is one where Christ was.

Although the Sea of Galilee was a highlight for me, that in no way diminished the rest of the trip. Every place we visited was special in its own way, and should you ever find yourself in Israel, make a special effort to stop by tthe waters where Jesus walked.