Teaching at Mt. Carmel
We finished out day three by teaching at Mt. Carmel and Nazareth, which are both significant Biblical sites. Mt. Carmel was our next stop after Caesarea, here we would touch on the themes of “Obedience” and “Faith”. First, we went to the top of a church roof that commemorates Elijah and his battle with the prophets of Baal and took an overview of the Jezreel Valley. After that we spent some time in a quiet garden on top of the mountain reviewing I Kings 18, as we discussed the Israelites disobedience and Elijah’s faith in God.
Church of The Annunciation: Nazareth
We finished our day in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. We spent some time taking in the overview of the Church of The Annunciation, which commemorates the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary that she would have a son, and call him Jesus. This is an important site for Christians, because it is a reminder of the virgin birth and the miracle of the Incarnation of Jesus. Paul explains this well to the Church at Philippi, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6–8, ESV)
One major theme we addressed at Nazareth was the “Word”. It is here in Nazareth that we are reminded of what John wrote about Jesus, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, ESV) “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, ESV). What a picture and reminder of Jesus being all God and all man, living in the town of Nazareth, the fulfillment of God’s Word in the flesh!
After Dinner we had one last session of teaching where we walked through Jesus returning to Nazareth and reading the scroll of Isaiah,
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”” (Luke 4:16–21, ESV)
Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61, and declared that He was the Messiah. This was followed up with Jesus’ illustration that the Good News would now go to the Gentiles, like the Widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Leper from Syria. Jesus explanation of Isaiah 61 would lead to a riot and his own hometown people trying to throw him off a cliff. We closed out our time thanking God for Jesus being the way, the truth, and life and prayed for the truth of the Gospel to open blind eyes and hardened hearts in Israel.
Our Team Listening