Our trip has come to an end, and what an awesome way to spend it. We got to sleep in a little today for our journey through Israel. We started at the Mt. of Olives, one of the best views in Israel. This spot overlooks all of Jeruselam. They warned us that we had a long day ahead of us and proceed to point out into Jureslem pointing out all of the checkpoints we would have along the way. Needless to say, we had a lot of ground to cover.
Before we made it too far on our walk, we stopped at the Garden of Gethsemene. Though no scripture was read, we were given some time to process and take in the amazing view we had to take in of Jeruselam. I sat under a tree and got to journal a lot of my thought process from this crazy journey went to what am I going to do after this. I listed out questions that I will need to answer when I'm home. For example, "When and how am I going to study the things I want to research more from this trip?" Questions that challenge me to do something with all the knowledge I've gained.
After this time we went to several places, but my favorite was at the Pool of Bethesda. John 5 Jesus arrives at this exact at pool. There was a man that had been waiting there for 38 years waiting for someone to let him be the first in the water when it would bubble. The pool was suppose to have 'healing waters' when the water would first bubble up. If you were the first one to walk in, supposedly, it would heal you. This man who laid there had no one to pick him up and move him there because his family left him there to continue on in their work. When Jesus comes to this place he looks at him and asks, "Do you want to be healed?" Ouch. We discussed how harsh this sentence must have felt to a man who waited a huge chunk of his life waiting for his moment to be healed. Jesus heals this man and he heads straight to the Temple Mount like any Jewish man would in that time. To go to the holiest place. There many questioned him as to how he could walk, because anyone who has been unable to walk for so long will want to talk about the joy he must be feeling. These people question him as to who healed him. Not knowing Jesus' name, he simple relays what happened. These men are angered at someone working on the Sabbath. Of all things... angry. This man is walking again after who knows how long of not being able to and their angry at someone working on Sabbath.
One point that summarized this story for us is comparing John 9:1-41 where Jesus spit in mud, rubbed it on a man's face and told him to go to the Pool of Siloam. This was not an easy or quick walk for this man. In order to see again, though, this man had to make it all the what over to those waters to wash his face. One of the teachers wanted us to see that Jesus can heal any where, but he is purposeful with his leasons and stories. Jesus easily could've told this man to open his eyes and he would see, but he told him to make his way across the city to wash his eyes. In John 5, Jesus wanted to make a point that the spring wasn't a healing place, he was the one doing the healing. Our God is purposeful and powerful with everything he does.
As any journey begins, they also must end. Tonight we gathered together to share pieces of what we've taken away from such an amazing place. It's humbling to hear people experiencing what you did, and more. I know I have taken a lot of teachable moments, different ways to look at the Bible and more, but the most surprising piece to me was the personal growth I gained. My last note to all of you is my favorite advice I received from Hedi and it was, "Bloom where you're planted." You don't have to cross the world to do something about your faith. John 13:14.