The Jezreel Valley: a new perspective on an ancient battlefield
Nain – a charming church in a village that seems to have changed little since Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead here (Luke 7:11-15), becomes the venue to learn how widows and other lone women fared in ancient society.
Mount Tabor – to this mountain, the “high mount” of Transfiguration (Mark 9: 2-9), the judge Deborah called Barak to fight the Canaanites (Judges 4:4-16). With the ancient ruins and beautiful views as inspiration, find out who Deborah really was.
Sepphoris – traditional birthplace of Mary, Sepphoris was built by Herod Antipas. Joanna, the wife of Cuza, Herod’s steward (Luke 8:3), who might have lived here, was among Jesus’ early supporters. Visit the restored theater, the “Mona Lisa of Galilee” mosaic, the Nile House and the Cardo. Another highlight is the sixth-century synagogue that tells a story of redemption and reveals an unusual representation of Sarah.
Nazareth – most of the monuments in Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up, are devoted to Mary, this is where the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) took place. Highlights include the Church of St. Gabriel, built over the spring where Mary no doubt drew water for her family, and the magnificent Basilica of the Annunciation. At the reconstructed Nazareth Village, learn about the daily life of women in Jesus’ day and take part in a weaving workshop.
Cana – the scene of Jesus’ first miracle, the changing of water into wine at a wedding (John 2:1-11), in which Mary’s played a role with great theological implications.