Walk in The Footsteps of Jesus
When people come to the Holy Land, they of course want to “walk in Jesus’s footsteps”. We agree that this is a wonderful thing! However, not everywhere can be confirmed as having been exactly where He was. For instance, in Jerusalem, there are places that can be tied to Jesus, but much of the city is about 20 feet higher than Jesus would have been due to the continual destruction and rebuilding of the city upon the rubble during its tumultuous history. This is made evident when you see sites such as the Cardo, the ancient Roman street that served as a main passageway that lies 20 feet beneath the current level of the city.
So, where can you visit and really know “Jesus was here”? The list continues to grow as excavations take place and reveal ancient Israel. It makes you wonder what wonderful discoveries are just below your feet waiting to be found! Here are five places that we are confident in saying when you are there, you are walking (or floating) in the general area Jesus would have been.
The Southern Steps
These steps were the very same steps that Jesus would have used to approach the Temple. When you walk on these steps, you are walking where Jesus walked. However his view was quite different! When he would have climbed these steps, he would have been approaching the Huldah gates to ascend to the Temple. The Temple is of course gone (as Jesus predicted) and the gates have been sealed, but the stairs remain. This is always a highlight and an awe-inspiring moment knowing you are ascending on the same steps as Jesus and his disciples. This is truly holy ground!
The town of Magdala, along the shores of the Galilee, was formed around 2nd century BC and was prominent in the area until it’s destruction during the Jewish Revolt. Its ruins were not discovered until 2006. In 2009 a remarkable discovery was made there during excavations, a 1st century synagogue. The Migdal synagogue is the oldest one found in the region (and the world) and it also has the oldest depiction of a menorah outside of Jerusalem. Since the Bible says that Jesus taught in all of the synagogues of the area (Matthew 4:23), it is reasonable to think that he indeed taught at this one from his time and perhaps even read the Torah from the very carved stone in the synagogue.
Known as “The Home of Jesus”, Capernaum was central to his early ministry and adult life. It was also the home of several of his disciples, including Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew. It is discussed in all four gospels as the backdrop to different stories. While the current synagogue there was built much later during the Byzantine era, you can see the foundations of the ancient synagogue beneath the “newer” one and those were from the time of Christ. Jesus was certainly here! The Bible says he drove out a demon in that very synagogue (Luke 4:31-37). In addition, you can see the remains of what is believed to have been Peter’s house where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-16). While it can’t be confirmed, it has been revered as such since at least the 2nd century, as shown by graffiti from the time, which is very strong evidence to its validity.
The Pool of Siloam
The Pool of Siloam, place where Jesus healed a blind man (John 9) was not discovered until 2004 after having been destroyed in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the Temple. The pool was used for ritual cleansing approaching the Temple. it is thought that Jesus’ proclamation of offering ‘living water” was in direct reference to the rituals during the Feast of Tabernacles with water from this pool (John 7). The pool may not be the cleansing, abundant spring it was in Jesus’s time, but have no doubt that this is the place it happened.
5. The Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee and its borders and region are the central backdrop of Jesus’s ministry. While the exact location along its shores of events can be in question and sometimes up for debate, the sea itself is certain. The Sea of Galilee today is the same spoken of in the Bible. When Jesus walked on the water, fished with his disciples and fed the 5000, it was all from this very body of water. When you feel the air and look at the scenery around you, it is all similar to what Jesus would have seen and felt as well.
Are you ready to walk where Jesus walked and see his life come into focus and color? Contact Immanuel Tours for your Evangelical, Messianic, or Catholic tour. 2022 Christian Israel tours are starting to be booked. We can’t wait to welcome you to see what God has done, will do and is going to do!