I had a very good history professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Donald Kyle, and one day we were talking about studying history. One day, he asked where I would begin a study of the history of a people. I don’t remember what I said, but I have never forgotten what he said – begin with the lay of the land and the sources of water. Obviously, without water no one would be able to survive anywhere. The lay of the land, meaning specifically the topography, played a major role in providing a barrier of safety from enemies, as well as creating protected places to grow food and live.
The home of Yeshua was Nazareth. Take a moment to consider the sources of water, the topography and the nearness of surrounding villages of Nazareth on the map of Galilee at the following link (click on the map to enlarge it) - http://www.bibleplaces.com/atlas/1.4-Jezreel-Valley.jpg
Now click on this link for another view of the topography -- http://jesusreigns.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/galilee-and-the-north_map1.pdf
What it would have been like to live in Nazareth year-after-year while Yeshua was growing up?. What would Yeshua seen when he looked to the north, east, south and west? What was the ground like that he played on as a child or walked on and worked as a man? Yeshua spent most of his life in Nazareth. During his life it is estimated that Nazareth was a small village, with probably no more than three hundred people. Since he spent almost thirty years living there, he would have been very familiar with everyone living there and they would have also been well acquainted with him. Take few moments to digest what you see in the following two pictures at the links below. The first picture of Nazareth was taken in the late 1800s, click on -- http://www.bible-lands.net/images/stories/bible/cities/Nazarethlinks/19th-century-photograph.jpg
Here is another picture of Nazareth with Mt. Tabor in the background that was taken about 1900-1920 – click on http://blog2.bibleplaces.com/uploaded_images/deb075ecaeaa_7DA2/NazarethandMtTabormat05532.jpg
Since Yeshua, and most everyone else, traveled by walking, consider the type of roads and paths his feet would have been walking on. The Jesus Trail™ is a 65-kilometer hiking trail in the Galilee region of Israel which connects important sites from the life of Yeshua and offers an alternative for travelers and pilgrims to experience the steps of Yeshua in a way that is authentic, adventurous and educational by hiking through the rugged and beautiful landscape of the Galilee in Israel. Click on the follow link to view the map -- http://www.jesustrail.com/images/POI-web.jpg
Here is a picture of a path from Nazareth to Capernaum -- http://images.travelpod.com/tw_slides/ta01/599/c88/path-jesus-walked-from-nazareth-to-capernaum-galilee.jpg
Click on the next link to look at the places recorded in the New Testament that Yeshua visited – http://copiosa.org/images/map.jpg
When we read about Yeshua traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem, and on the way he goes down to the Jordan, do you understand exactly how far “down” was? Click on this link to see -- http://ivarfjeld.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/map71.jpg
The next time you are reading about Yeshua in the New Testament and come across something like this – “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee . . . and then they went to Capernaum” – take a moment to look at the above maps and consider exactly what that walk would have been like. Go online and look at some pictures and maps of those places. See what he was seeing through his eyes – and consider what the feet of his apostles and disciples were experiencing too.
This is an important part of getting to know the real Yeshua.