We peered down into the house of Simon Peter from above, the exact same
view that the 4 men with the paralytic would have had as they dug through the layers of mud and straw rolled and baked to provide a waterproof coving for the large, wealthy, beach-front property owned by Peters family, in order to get their friend to Jesus.
It made me wonder how far I’d go to bring my friends to Jesus.
Damaging property, risking anger and rejection, creating mayhem…
not sure I’d go that far. Or walking down under the burning sun into Wadi Kelt, opposite the Jordan valley, where Jesus almost certainly had his encounter with the devil for 40 days after his baptism in the river.
In this most inhospitable of places we meet a local shepherd bringing his flock up the path. On seeing us the sheep freeze, not sure whether we are safe to pass. With one small nod and sound from the shepherd they scuttle past, secure that they know the sound of the shepherd’s voice.
I couldn’t help but think of Jesus words, ‘my sheep hear my voice and they follow me’. Do I know his voice as well as those sheep do their shepherd?
So many kairos moments from Jerusalem, to Bethlehem, to the Jordan, to
Nazareth and Capernaeum, and back to Jerusalem for Jesus final days.
With Bob’s rabbi-like exposition of the scriptures under any nearby olive tree, we saw with fresh eyes the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus the man,
Jesus the prophet,
Jesus the miracle-worker,
Jesus the teacher,
Jesus the Messiah.
We met with God powerfully in the upper room, where the Holy Spirit was
poured out. Not the same building but exactly the same location. And then to discover that it was probably the home of John Marks family, the place the soldiers would first have come looking for Jesus before his arrest, the same place that Peter returns to when he was later released from prison.
It was a wealthy home and almost certainly the location of the last supper, and Jesus’ oikos / base when in Jerusalem.
So many stunning connections between the biblical narrative, cultural and
historic insights, and archaeological evidence made the pilgrimage truly
remarkable. We talk a lot about the ways of Jesus, and this trip brought them incredibly alive.
I can’t recommend highly enough the experience of going with Bob Rognilien (author of Empowering Missional Disciples, and A Jesus Shaped Life) on ‘The Footsteps of Jesus experience’. It seemed like a lot of money before we went. When my wife Jenny and I returned we said ‘that was incredible value’.
14 days of intense experience and insight to the life of Jesus. It was the trip of a lifetime for anyone who wants to know and love Jesus more completely.
Check out future trips, availability and costs here .