Morning Report and the Crusader City of Qesarya

Sunday, April 24, 2016
Caesarea, Haifa District, Israel
Our morning started off like any other, too early, but we had to get going. Lena, Steven, and I had to try to catch a bus to catch a train to get to the airport to rent a car to drive to Caesarea at a decent time. But a late bus necessitated an expensive car ride. Car rentals are sometimes more complicated than we expect them to be so we were late.

Our real morning began with Alyssa's report on Megiddo, our second major stop for the day . She taught us a little of its history and reminded us of its biblical importance, as well as why so many kingdoms had their way with such a city.

Caesarea (or Qesarya as the Hebrew speaking actors of the hippodrome show pronounced it) was an important city and port for many ancient kingdoms, including Israel. It served as an administrative center and later on as capital city. Many rulers from many nations walked its streets, and sat in the seats of the amphitheater.

Bible accounts place many figures there including Peter, Cornelius, Herod, Agrippa, Festus, Paul, and Christ. The calling of the Gentiles was seen there by Peter and others who believed.

It was in this very region, on a stop along the way to pray, that Jesus told His disciples that His church, His spiritual body of believers, would outlast the tests of time and temptation.

“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets .” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew‬ ‭16:13-18‬).

We were amazed at the history, the complex ruins, the juxtaposition of the older stones and statues with the heavily industrialized cities in the background. The beaches made almost entirely of broken seashells was an added unfamiliarity and breathtaking allure of the Mediterranean Sea. Shops and restaurants of a much more modern nature gave a welcome break from the heat of the Middle Eastern sun and the uneven seats of stone lining the far side of the Hippodrome. I could have taken pictures there all day, but we had too many other things to see with our time.
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Thanks for the beautiful pictures, and it looks like you're having great weather! You weren't kidding about the beach of broken seashells!


Awesome pictures, thank you!

Denise Dobson

Love reading your blog and seeing all the wonderful pictures!!!! Looks like a fabulous trip!