Wow! What a day — we even experienced snow on the Syria border. I met an Israeli version of Uncle Si – who was packing a gun at age 76. He had a live, and let live approach to life. However, case he said, “If you shoot at me, I’ll shoot at you. And I’m a better shot.” In fact, there were a couple of good quotes from today. Later, we met Major Elliot Chodoff, a political and millitary analyst. Just before he got off the bus I asked him, “What words would you have for us pastors as we go back to our congregations?” He said, “Stop standing with Israel, and start marching with Israel.” That was very powerful. It is easy to say that I am for this or that, but to actually do it is where the rubber meets the road. That’s what are next series is all about, not just talking about the TRUTH, but defending the TRUTH!
Again we covered a lot of ground today. From my window we could see that the Sea of Galilee was very rough. We started back to the north shore of the Sea of Galilee by Capernaum and near to the feeding of the 5000. As the waves crashed behind us we read from John 21:1-19
“After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”
As well as the famous interchange between Jesus and Perter, 15 “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” ESV
With our gifts in hand we proceeded to a most northern outpost which has Syria on one side and Lebenon on the other. Here too, we experieced our first “Kibbutz”. There are about 260 Kibbutz, they are a self-sufficient community. Everyone works, and everyone gets paid the same from the community. The Kibbutz’s produce 95% of the food for Israel. The man we met, who I liken to Uncle Si was originally from Clevlend,Ohio, an Israeli – American who served in the Iraeali army as a paratrooper. He was in 3 different wars. Like Si, he tells it like it is. We also met soldiers up there as well.
We came down from the north heading for the Golan Heights for a Northern Israeli strategic tour viewing from a former Syrian fortification first built by Russia. First we boarded a boat and crossed
the Sea of Galilee on some rough waters. We enjoyed a Saint Peter’s Fish at Kibbutz Ein Gev, before spending a half a day with Major Elliot Chodoff, another Israeli – American from New York. He is a university professor and just filled us with first hand experience and knowledge. It was amazing. His talks were riveting and I video taped several of them. Tomorr we are off to Jerusalem, were our guide, Abraham lives. Until then…