Wearing Jesus’ shoes: Israel (Mar 23-April 6)

jerusalem_israelI head to Israel tomorrow (March 23) with folk from Biblical Seminary. There will be 15 of us: students, alumni and Derek Cooper, another professor.

We’ll spend 7 days in Jerusalem, 3 days in Galilee, travel back to Istanbul, where the rest of group will head back to JFK, while Derek and I will spend a 2 days in Istanbul, and 2 days in Athens (making a side trip to Corinth), returning home on April 6. In Istanbul and Turkey, Derek and I will be looking at possible sites for future Biblical trips.

I’ve never been to the Holy Land, so I’m really looking forward to the trip. Next fall when I teach about Jerusalem, Bethlehem or Hebron and I say, “When I visited there in the Spring of 2014…” perhaps students will finally respect me.

In addition to visiting the Israel Museum to see the Tel Dan Stele (aka, “The House of David” inscription–the oldest reference to King David), I’m looking forward to hearing about the story of the land from both a Jewish and a Palestinian perspective.

I’m going to try to post pictures and blogs while I’m there.  We’ll see…

I bought a new pair of sandals to wear on my trip (it should be a little warmer in Israel than in southeastern PA, which is expecting snow on Tues). Shannon said, “You’ll be wearing the same shoes as Jesus as you walk in his footsteps.”  WWJD? He’d wear sandals.

Have you been there? What was the highlight?


  1. Hebron was a real highlight on my first visit. I haven’t gone with students, just because it is so hard to drive into. But the shared synagogue/mosque at the site where Abraham is supposed to be buried is worth seeing, from both sides.

    The Israel Museum is wonderful and worth making sure you have enough time for. I ran through it with students last time I was there, and that was less than ideal.

    The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Wailing Wall, and the Temple Mount are all worth seeing in Jerusalem, but it is also worth making sure there is time just to wander its maze of streets a bit (be sure you get a map from the tourist office, since it really is a maze).

    Masada is also breathtaking.

  2. First of all, who doesn’t respect you?!

    Second of all…the Sea of Galilee was pretty powerful just knowing Jesus was there, walked on the water. But one of my absolute favorites was visiting one of the possible spots where Jesus made breakfast on the beach for the disciples after His resurrection. I could have sat there on the shore forever. Just thinking about Him actually being THERE. Just picturing Jesus walking and talking with Peter and “restoring him” with His three questions…you’re making me want to break out my pictures!! Blessings on your trip. VERY exciting!!

  3. We were there for 11 days in October/November 2012 — our first visit! Everything felt like a highlight! But the most moving to me was a 40-minute time for meditation in a private part of the Garden of Gethsemane (where I wrote a journal reflection). I was also moved by an hour’s boat ride on the Sea of Galilee at dusk, looking at the same hills Jesus and his disciples looked at when they were out on the lake! (It was calm that evening for us!)

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