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Scriptural Reflections on Holy Land Sites
09-24-11

Eva Marie Everson, award winning author of numerous books, shares some of her Reflections of God's Holy Land with Travelujah.

Here she presents biblical interpretations of numerous holy sites as discussed through scriptures so that visitors can  better process their experiences while visiting holy sites. As you visit a particular site, you can read her words,  which will hopefully enable you to enjoy and experience the spiritual revelations unique to Israel's sacred destinations. Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel was published in 2009 by Thomas Nelson, and is a wonderful representation of some of Israel's most sacred sites.


Mount of Temptation

Mount of Precipace

Bethsaida

Tabgha

Mt. Carmel

The Basilica of the Nativity
 


Mount of Temptation

To reflect on the story:

Matthew 4: 8-11 
 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." 10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only." 11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.


To reflect on application to your own life:

1 Corinthians 10:13   No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
 
2 Corinthians 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.


New International Version
Scriptures provided by: Eva Marie Everson
Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel


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Mount of Precipice


To reflect on the story:

Luke 4: 14
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

 16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 

                                                                       

18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
         because he has anointed me
         to preach good news to the poor.
      He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
         and recovery of sight for the blind,
      to release the oppressed,
       19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."



 20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.

 23Jesus said to them, "Surely you w ill quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.' "

 24"I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed-only Naaman the Syrian."

 28All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. 30But he walked right=2 0through the crowd and went on his way.


To reflect on application to your own life:

1 Peter 1: 6-7 
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Romans 12: 14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

New International Version
Scriptures provided by: Eva Marie Everson
Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel



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Bethsaida




To reflect on the story:

 

Mark 6: 45-50: Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and w ere terrified.

John 12: 20-21: Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus."


To reflect on application to your own life:

Philippians 3: 8-11: What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.



New International Version
Scriptures provided by: Eva Marie Everson
Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel




Tabgha  


To reflect on the story:   John 6: 1-15: Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.


Philip answered him, "Eight months' wagesa] would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."


So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." Jesus, knowing th at they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.



To reflect on application to your own life: Psalm 37: 23b-26: 
If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

New International Version
Scriptures provided by: Eva Marie Everson
Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel




Mt. Carmel


To reflect on the story:


1 Kings 18: 20-40:  So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."



But the people said nothing. Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the LORD's prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire-he is God.


" Then all the people said, "What you say is good." Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire." So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the20evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.


Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel." With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood." "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."


Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!" Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.


To reflect on application to your own life:


Exodus 20: 2-4:
   "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven abov e or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.


Matthew 22: 34-37: 
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
 


New International Version
Scriptures provided by:
Eva Marie Everson
Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel




The Basilica of the Nativity


To reflect on the story:


Luke 2: 1-7:  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. Whil e they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


To reflect on application to your own life:


For many years, my eyes-and therefore my heart-have beheld a pictu re of a hay filled barn-type, three-sided structure. Inside are a young woman-looking quite resplendent after hours spent in the throes of labor and delivery-and an awe-inspired man peering down on a perfectly formed Caucasian baby. If I didn't know the scene was not based on truth, I would think it no more than a fairy tale. But, based on truth is all it can be. Mary and Joseph were a poor Jewish couple who-no doubt-would have looked as though they'd just spent hours in emotional panic and physical distress. The precious baby would have had the olive complexion of a Hebrew child. Whether He slept peacefully or squirmed against the chill of life is anyone's guess.

Whether [Jesus was born in a]cave or booth or first floor accommodations, there would have been neither rows of impressive Corinthian columns leading the way, nor marble flooring etched=2 0in gold upon which Mary would position herself. There would have been neither draperies of rich fabrics nor walls dripping with icons.

Unlike many who have come and who will come in the future, I choose not to enter or even to try to enter. I stand, instead, on a hilltop and look down on the place that is no longer a simple village but a sprawling city. I imagine that Mary, a young girl who pondered much in her heart, might blush at such a notion of people flocking to see this public display of her very private moment.

And then, across rocky terrain and years of religious honor, I see her smile. I wink at her and she nods at me. She understands, I think, that I have chosen to allow her son to be born in my heart.

Any other place is just geography.

(Excerpted from Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israelby Eva Marie Everson and Miriam Feinberg Vamosh.)


New International Version
Scriptures provided by: 
Eva Marie Everson
Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel



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