HOLY LAND TOUR-DAY FIVE
Yesterday was day five of our Holy Land tour. We spent our time viewing the excavations and ruins of some of Galilee’s villages and synagogues. It’s interesting how people who lived 2000 years ago aligns with how people are trying to live today.
It was a fishing village on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee and was home to several of the apostles. It was well know for it’s synagogue which was built with money donated from a Centurion.
– Jesus left Nazareth and moved to Capernaum to launch his ministry.
– He lived with Simon Peter and his family for about three years.
– Some of his greatest miracles were performed there.
– He taught, healed, and lived among the people, he was one of them.
Just a couple of miles from Capernaum was the village of Chorazin and its synagogue. Perhaps not as large a village or as grand a synagogue, but a village that offered a beautiful setting in the hills above the Sea of Galilee.
– Jesus performed many miracles in Chorazin.
– He became displeased with the community for their lack of faith.
– It was obvious that the village was constructed around family.
An interesting observation about the two villages, and others like them, was that their culture totally revolved around family.
– Every family had to make a living
– Few could afford to hire outside help
– They needed a growing work force
– That happened by having many children who married and had many children
– The sons brought their brides home to live with the family
– The daughters married and moved with their husbands to their families
– It was an agrarian culture and deeply dependent on family
An interesting aspect to that culture was how they all lived together. Today, because of prosperity and a different culture, our families separate and live elsewhere. Our children grow up and get married and move away, either near or far, but away from the parents.
Not so in first century Israel. They built their families with a “family dwelling” model. Mom and Dad had a house and as children came they added rooms. As children became men and married, they moved into added rooms that expanded the house with more walls and living space. Over time, the “house” became a community of family, perhaps 50-60 people living together. With such numbers were additional field hands, fishermen, and the workers they needed to expand their fields, reap a greater harvest and so forth.
In John 14 Jesus told his apostles that he was leaving to prepare a house, or mansion as some versions put it, and that he would return to take them to be with him.
We think of heaven as mansions on streets of gold. But what Jesus was saying was that he was leaving to go and build a room on his Father’s house for each of them. A place for everyone, a home for everyone to be together, to be a family.
Think about it. It’s the new way of old. We look forward to an eternal dwelling based on how people lived 2000 years ago!