Many sites in the Holy Land have been destinations for religious pilgrimages since biblical times, by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. These pilgrims visit the Holy Land to touch and see physical manifestations of their faith, confirm their beliefs in the holy context with collective excitation, and connect personally to the Holy Land.
For Christians, the Land of Isreal is considered holy because of its association with the birth, ministry, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, whom Christians regard as the Savior or Messiah, rather than anything that intrinsically differentiates it from other lands, or that is required for Christian religious observance. Outside of the places traditionally associated with Christian personalities, the territory or the land of the Holy bears no mention in Christianity.
Sea of Galilee (Kinneret)
At an altitude of 210 meters below sea level the Kinneret stretches out. This is the largest and most fresh water lake in israel, and most inhabitants use its waters for drinking and irrigation. Around the Kinneret is a ring of settlements that constitue an encounter with ancient times, religious sites (principally Christian) and beautiful recreational sites.
Jesus walks upon the sea
And when He had sent them away, He departed into the mountain to pray. And when evening was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land. And He saw them toiling in rowing, for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night He cameth unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
But when they saw Him walking upon the sea, they supposed it to be a spirit, and cried out:
For they all saw Him, and were troubled. And immediately He talked with them, and saith unto them, Be Of Good Cheer: it is I, be not afraid.
And he went up unto them on the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were so amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wonder. - Mark 6: 46-51
Mount of Beatitudes - Sermon on the Mount
The Beatitudes - And seeing the multitudes, he went up unto a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them saying.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. - Blessed are they that morn: for they shall be comforted. - Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. - Blessed are which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. - Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. - Blessed are the poor in heart: for they shall see God. - Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. - Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evel against you false;ly, for my sake.
Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. - Matthew 5:1-12
Israel - The Center
From Mt. Carmel in the North, through the length of the Sharon valley and the costal plane, through Samaria and the foothills of the Judean hills, between the strips of seasand in the West, through the ridges of gravel and the red sand hill ("Hamrah") to the hills of the central porportion of Israel.
Its historic importance comes from the ancient road that passed through its length. "The Sea Road" (via Maris), which connected Egypt to Syria, to Lebanon and to the northern countries. Along its route, settlements and highway fortifacations developed and eventually became large fortified cities; the bitterest battles in the history of the country took place here.
Carernaum - The Synagogue
And they went into Ca-per-na-um, and strightway on the sabbath day he entered into the sunagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out. Saying. Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Naareth! Art thou come to destroy us! I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying. Hold thy peace and come out of him.
And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned amoung themselves, saying. What thing is this! What new doctrine is this! For with authority he commandeth even the unclean spirit, and they do obey him. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee. - Mark 1: 21-28
Capernaum (Kfar Nanhum)
Capernaum played a pivital role in Jesus' life and was known as his home town. (Matthew 9:1). The town had a fishing and docking area on the Sea of Galilee and had a customs house and police station. Capernaum served as the base for Jesus' activities in the Galilee (Matthew 4:13). It was here that he met Peter and the other apostles, taught at the synagogue, preached to the multitudes and performed numerous miracles. From here, he becomes well-known throughout the area. (Luke 4:37).
In Capernaum, Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-17), the paraplegic (Mark 2:1-12), and the slave of the Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13).
This is also where Jesus the daughter of Jairus, one of the leaders of the synagogue (Mark 5:21-43). When he had completed his activities there, Jesus became enraged with the city and prophesied its destruction (Matthew 11:23-25).
Jordan River - The Babtism of Jesus
And it come to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized of John in Jordan.
And strightway comming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him.: And there came a voice from heaven saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in which I am well pleased. - Mark 1: 9-11
Then cometh Jeasus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me!. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.
And Jesus when he was baptized, when up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God decending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And low a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in which I am well pleased. - Matthew 3: 13-17
Nazareth - is the town where the Angel Gabriel appeared before Mary and told her she would give birth of a son Jesus, who was destined to become a grand and superior being (Luke 1:26-38). Tradition has it that Jesus spent most of his time in Nazareth, studing the Bible and helping his orphaned family.
Nazareth - The Annunciation
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth.
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her. Fear not, Mary: for thou has found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man! And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also the holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. For with God nothing shall be impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. - Luke 1:26-38
Church of St. Gabriel (Greek Church of the Annunciation) - There is a spring located inside this church, and the Greek Orthodox believe that it is the site of the annunciation.
Mary's Well (Mary's Spring) - The main natural water source in Nazareth, where Mary came almost everyday to draw water. According to tradition, this is where Mary used to bathe and wash Jesus' bands of cloth, when he was a child. When he grew up, Jesus used to come down to to this spring and draw water for his family.
The waters of the spring are considered holy by Christians and Muslems alike, and are known for their convalescent properties. It is said that during the sevententh century, water from this well was bottled and exported to France.
Israel - The South
The southern portion of Israel is the largest in area and it includes the costal plain, the large streaches of the Negev, the valley of Arava and the Eilat district.
The southern costal plain is the entrance to the Sinai desert and to the ancient sea road that connected the northern countries, through the land of Israel, with ancient Egypt.
Cana of Galilee - The Wedding Miracle
And the third day there was a marriage in cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples to the marriage.
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee! Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purification of the Jews, containing two or three firskins apiece.
Jesus saith unto them. Fill the waterpots with water.And they filled them up to the brim.And he saith unto them. Draw out not, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: but the servants which drew the water knew; the governor of the feast called the bridegroom. And saith unto him, every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory, and his disciples belived on him. - John 2:1-11
Source: "Israel in your pocket" an Historic and Geographic pocket guide to the land of Isreal.
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