Text Size: Zoom In

Jerusalem Journal 3

As the Jewish people enter the evening of their weekly Shabbat (Sabbath), our team is heading for Ben Gurion airport–tired, and ready to go home.

Our last meeting with a group of scholars involved a conversation on the northern lakeshore of Galilee. Together with the eight professors pictured with me here, it was pretty amazing to think that we were talking about the life and teachings of Jesus on the site of the synagogue of Capernaum where he, himself, taught.

As we left the north and headed south to Jerusalem, we also left behind two days of sunrise over the Galilee. I think this is my favorite part of Israel because of all that Jesus said and did in these shoreline communities. And there’s something about sunrise that seems so closely tied to the one who once walked these shores– and waters.

Oh, but I don’t want to forget this coney (Hyrax or rock badger) that we spotted high up on the rocks above us as we worked at Caesarea Philippi (just south of the Israel-Lebanon border. I figured the only reason he could have been there was for the view– or to count the number of “takes” it took to me to get my “lines” right.

I’m always fascinated when I see these little guys because of the Proverb that says that the coney isn’t very strong, but it knows enough to take shelter among the rocks (Prov 30:26).

Since I’m talking about conies I got pictures of two other animal friends I met over here. Their features speak for themselves. The camel poses for pictures all over Israel. I’ve seen him– or one of his relatives– at a rest stop in the Jordan Valley, at the “sea level” “pull off” on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, and then also on the Mount of Olives.

And this donkey knows how to carefully make his way down the steps of the Mount of Olives when people like us want to reflect on the day that Jesus rode a donkey down this same path. Actually, I haven’t yet tired of thinking about the prophet Zechariah’s prediction that some day Israel’s long awaited King and deliverance would come to them riding, with all humility, on the back of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9)

Also since I’m talking about the Mount of Olives, here’s a picture of the golden, onion shaped domes that cause the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene to stand out so dramatically on the hill facing Jerusalem. In some ways it almost seems like a counterpart to the dramatic gold topped Dome of the Rock that dominates the skyline on the Jerusalem side of the valley.

Something else we found interesting was our visit to a Jewish antiquities salvage site. A couple of years ago the international press reported that Jewish authorities were upset to find that Moslem workers had removed truckloads of ancient stones from under the Al Aqsa Plaza (known to Jewish people as the Temple Mount area), and dumped it in the Kidron Valley.

Ever since, archeologists have been carefully sifting through every stone looking for ancient artifacts that might provide physical evidence of the history of the most contested piece of real estate in the world. As these pictures show, school children are now being trained and then allowed to assist archeologists in looking for fragments of bone, glass, metal or pottery.

There’s something about seeing school children looking for fragments and clues to their own history and past that I find very compelling. So often, we merely live in the present moment, until something happens to make us realize how important it is to also reflect on our own past and future.

We saw and experienced a lot more as well, but I think I’m going to stop with one more piece of information about the falcon that landed on us during a night shoot earlier in the week. As we’ve compared notes, a couple of our crew said that just before the falcon flew onto our set they saw it being chased by large crow-like birds. If that’s the case, it seems amazing to think that the little guy might have looked for refuge among us. That seems like a long shot to us. But here’s another picture that shows I’m not making this up.

Yeh, I realize I might be getting sidetracked on this my last post from Jerusalem. But, well, maybe not. If Jerusalem, together with its prophets, temple and Messiah, is actually the place our Creator chose to reveal himself, and to buy our eternal life, then maybe it’s appropriate to take notice not only of this land, and people, but of our Creator’s other creatures as well.

Good-by Jerusalem. May God soon give you peace, as a way of bringing peace to all the nations of the world.

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+31 rating, 33 votes)

7 Responses to “Jerusalem Journal 3”

  1. poohpity says:

    It seems that we spend so much time and energy striving to make sense of things, we over look the creation. God is revealed in such a deeper way through human beings and His beautiful creation. Both are so beautiful and supply all our needs as God intended yet we destroy them. We destroy and deplete the earth and we even have garbage in space. The worst destruction comes as we destroy human life not only by fighting but in subtle ways like the words we say to our neighbors to put down and demean. Wouldn’t it be nice if we enjoyed the beauty around us by taking a moment to smell the roses and offering a smile to someone while praising God for suppling all of our needs richly. What joy would be ours.
    When I master any of that I will let you know because I, much to my chagrin, have to ask for forgiveness oh around an a hundred or so times a day. The hope for all who believe is that one day in His presense we will experience no more tears or pain and undestructable beauty. Let’s challenge one another to let the greatest gift of love radiate from us to the ugly world around us so people will know who’s children we are. When we are ugly be the first to admit it and ask for forgiveness. Wow what a change we could make!!!!!

  2. pegramsdell says:

    Great photos and story. I really enjoyed it. I pray for your trip home to be safe. I also pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

  3. daisymarygoldr says:

    The scholarly you and the profs at Capernaum, the serene Galilean sunrise, the cute little Coney, the queer Camel face, the dumb donkey matching his owner’s outfit and mustache:) the dazzling domes, the Kidron salvage, sincere artifact sifters and the helpful school kids, the lost and confused falcon fledgling:( and the ‘pray for peace’ goodbye shot of Jerusalem… together celebrate a perfect ending to an assignment well done!

  4. Hephzibah610 says:

    Shabot Shalom!

  5. BruceC says:

    So happy to hear that all went well brother! The “blog” sure has been interesting about the trip.
    I think poohpity said it all and I can’t think of anything to add.
    God Bless!

  6. hal.fshr says:

    Great photos and Scriptural commentary. A great addition to your blog. Thanks.

  7. Becky M says:

    Mart, with all the work you do and time you give to make the documentaries to teach the gospel of Christ, it’s a blessing to be able to read your personal journal on a trip to Jerusalem with pictures behind the scenes. The vidio’s\dvd’s are the only way I’ll be able to visit where Jesus walked when on Earth. But, I’m blessed with this computer to be able to read the journal and feel like I was really there first hand thru you. Everyone has made statements that I agree with so there is nothing left except to say thank you and praise the Lord for you,your crew and your family.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.