William L. (William Loring) Worcester.

On holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands online

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And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your
ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which
proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? And
he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal
thyself : whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy
country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his
own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the
days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months,
when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them
was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was
a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus * the
prophet ; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And
all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with
wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the

* The prophets are called Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament,
and the stories are told in 1 Kings xvii. and 2 Kings v. In the old
time Gentile people in other lands had been more ready than the Jews
to obey the Lord's prophets, and now they were more ready to receive
the Lord.



CALLED TO BE DISCIPLES.



343



brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him
clown headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his
way, and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them
on the sabbath days. And they were astonished at his doctrine : for his
word was with power. — Luke IV. 14S2.



CALLED TO BE DISCIPLES.



The Sea of Galilee is a beautiful mountain lake of
clear, blue water, lying deep among the hills. The hills
rise steeply from the water along both shores, but at the
northwestern part of the sea they stand back from the
beach, leaving a crescent-shaped meadow about a mile in
width. This is the plain of Gennesaret. Many things
which are told in the Gospels took place in this plain and



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Magdala and the plain of Gennesaret.

by this shore. In the old time it was a very fruitful
meadow; the soil is good and it was watered by several
large springs. The hills about keep off the cold wind,
and the gardens of Gennesaret were famous for early
fruits. Several cities stood near the shore. Capernaum
was probably in the northern corner of the plain, where
the Pig Spring breaks out from under a cliff. Near the
southern corner of the plain was Magdala, and several little
towns between.



344



ON HOLY GROUND.




(Copyright, 1903, by William H. Rau, Phila.)
Drying and mending nets, Tiberias.



The plain of Gennesaret was a busy place. Besides the
farmers working in the fields, many traders were passing
with caravans of camels, carrying goods from Damascus

over to the Mediter-
ranean shore ; and in
these towns lived many
fishermen who supplied
fish from the lake to
the markets of Jeru-
salem and other towns.
Sometimes they fished
from the shore, as we
see Eastern fishermen
to-day, skilfully throw-
ing a net so that it falls
in a circle on the water,
then diving in and gath-
ering the net together; or they fastened one end of a large
net to the shore, and carried the other end out into the lake,
encircling as many fishes as they could. Sometimes they
fished from boats, of which there are still a few on the Sea
of Galilee. They are stout boats some twenty-five feet
long, with pointed ends, a little deck in the bow and stern,
a three-cornered sail
and heavy oars. The
white sails are very
pretty on the blue
lake.

The Lord had
come from Nazareth
to make His home
at Capernaum, in
this busy plain by
the shore of this
beautiful lake. He
walked along the

Shore where the Fishing-boat on the Sea of Galilee.

beach of shells and

pebbles divides the clear water from the meadows. Behind
Him were the grain fields sheltered by the pasture-hills;
before Him was the blue water stretching away some six




CALLED TO BE DISCIPLES.



345



miles to the purple eastern shore. And as He walked He
called some fishermen from their nets, to go with Him and
be His faithful disciples. In one Gospel we read : —



From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent : for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand.

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon
called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea : for they
were fishers. And he saith
unto them, Follow me, and
I will make you fishers of
men. And they straight-
way left their nets, and
followed him. And going
on from thence, he saw
other two brethren, James
the son of Zebedee, and
John his brother, in a
ship with Zebedee their
father, mending their nets;
and he called them. And
they immediately left the
ship and their father, and
followed h i m. — Matthew
IV. 17-22.



The fishermen
knew the voice that
called. Some of
them had seen the
Lord at the Jordan
and had heard John's
words, "Behold the
Lamb of God." An-
other Gospel tells us
also of a sign of His
great power which




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SCALE OF MILES



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the Lord gave to the fishermen as He called them.

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the
word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing
by the lake : but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing
their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and
prayed him that he would thrusl out a little from the land. And he sat
down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speak-
ing, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and Id down your nets



346 ON HOLY GROUND.

for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have
toiled all the night, and have taken nothing : nevertheless at thy word I will
let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great
multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their
partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them.
And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When
Simon Peter saw it, he fell clown at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me;
for I am a sinful man, Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were
with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was
also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.
And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch
men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and
followed him. — Luke V. 1-11.

Another man whom the Lord called to be a disciple was
Matthew, or Levi, who afterwards wrote the story of the
Lord's life that bears his name. He was a publican, a col-
lector of taxes, perhaps of duties upon goods brought into
the country from beyond the Jordan. The people hated the
publicans, but the Lord found many among them who were
glad to hear Him.

And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi,
sitting at the receipt of custom : and he said unto him, Follow me. And he
left all, rose up, and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in
his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others
that sat down with them. But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against
his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physi-
cian; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners
to repentance. — Luke V. 27S2.



HEALING THE SICK.

The Lord went into the synagogue in Nazareth on the
Sabbath day, and read from the Scriptures and taught the
people. When He came from Nazareth to Capernaum, He
taught them also on the Sabbath days; and they were aston-
ished at His doctrine, for He taught them as one that had
authority, and not as the scribes.

The Lord showed His love and His great power in other
ways, by healing many that were sick. There were also peo-



HEALING THE SICK.



347



pie who were possessed with devils or unclean spirits. In
those days the evil spirits had gained such power that they
actually took possession of men, and made them say and do
as the evil spirits pleased, and made them do harm to them-
selves and others. Even children were possessed in this way.
But when the Lord came near, the devils were afraid and
cried out; and when He commanded them to depart, they
obeyed. The evil spirits knew the Lord, for He resisted and
overcame them first in His own heart. They knew that they




Kuins of synagogue at Tell Hum, S



must obey. And the same Lord who cast them out protects
us from them, so that people are not possessed to-day as
they were in the old time. The Lord is with us in every
temptation, so that evil may not overcome us without our
leave.

Now we are with the people in the synagogue at Caper-
naum, on a Sabbath day.



And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean
devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, Let us alone; what have we
to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I



348



ON HOLY GROUND.



know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him,
saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had
thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they
were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is
this ! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and
they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the
country round about.

And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house.
And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever ; and they besought

him for her. And he stood
over her, and rebuked the
fever ; and it left her : and
immediately she arose and
ministered unto them.

Now when the sun was
setting,* all thejr that had
any sick with divers diseases
brought them unto him; and
he laid his hands on every
one of them, and healed
them. And devils also came
out of many, crying out, and
saying, Thou art Christ the
Son of God. And he re-
buking them suffered them
not to speak : for they knew
that he was Christ.

And when it was day, he
departed and went into a
desert place : and the peo-
ple sought him, and came
unto him, and stayed him,
that he should not depart
from them. And he said
unto them, I must preach
the kingdom of God to other cities also : for therefore am I sent.
And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee. — Luke IV. 33~44.




(Hufuiann : C. Benda, Lausanne; W

The Lord healing the sick



/XT

. II. Kau, Phi Li



And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and
preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness
and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout
all Syria : f and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with
divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils,
and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed



* The report of what the Lord had done in the synagogue had spread
to every home, but it was the Sabbath day, when no work was done. At
sunset the Sabbath rest was over, and they could bring their sick friends
to the Lord and ask His help.

t Syria means the country about Damascus.



THE PALSIED MAN



349



them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and
from Decapolis,* and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond
Jordan. — Matthew IV. 23~25.



THE PALSIED MAN.

The Lord had been away from Capernaum for a time, but
had come back again to the little town by the sea, which was
called His home. The people had seen a great many signs
of His wonderful kindness and power. He had healed in
their synagogue, and when the sun set they had come about
the house and been healed of many sicknesses. They heard
that He was there, and came again to find Him. The multi-
tude pressed about the door. We think of a house not very




Flat earthen roofs, Damascus.



different from that in Cana where the marriage feast was
held, when the Lord made the water wine. It was a low
house of perhaps two stories, built about a courtyard. The
doors and windows of the house opened upon this court and
a gate-way led to it from the street. Perhaps around the
court, opening from the rooms of the second floor, there was
a balcony shaded by a light roof where the Lord was stand-



* Decapolis, the region of " the ten cities," was mostly east of Jordan,
and southward of the Sea of Galilee.



350 ON HOLY GROUND.

ing. Near Him in the chamber or on the balcony Pharisees
and doctors of the law were sitting, who had come from dis-
tant places, listening and watching sharply, ready to find
fault. The conrt below was full of eager people, and the gate-
way which opened from the street.

Among those who heard that the Lord was there were
the friends of a man sick of the palsy, and they came, four
of them, carrying the light couch or mat on which he lay.
Palsy is paralysis, a disease in which one cannot move or
cannot control his motions. The poor man who was brought
to the Lord seems to have been unable to move at all. If his
friends could only bring him to the Lord He would surely
help him.

There were usually stairs on the outside of the house
leading to the flat roof, and often the houses were built in




The Fig Spring and Sea of Galilee : Papyrus growing
in the water.

such a way that one could walk from one roof to another.
The roofs in that country are made by laying long level
rafters, across these short sticks, on these brush, and on this
a layer of mud which is rolled hard. They climbed to the
roof, perhaps by an outer stair, and from it they could reach
the lighter tiling or thatch over the balcony where we think
of the Lord as standing. They uncovered it, and let the sick
man down before the Lord. See them tenderly lowering the
bed, the Pharisees sitting by watching, the crowd in the court
below with eager faces. The Lord spoke to the sick man,
"and immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth
before them all." Read the story, and the words which the
Lord spoke when He healed the palsied man.



KEEPING THE SABBATH 351

And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was
noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered
together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much
as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come
unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And
when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the
roof where he was : and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed
wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto
the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain
of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this
man thus speak blasphemies'? who can forgive sins but God only 1 ? And
immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within
themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven
thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may
know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith
to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and
go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed,
and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and
glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. — Mark II. 1~12.



KEEPING THE SABBATH.

"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." This is
one of the Ten Commandments which the Lord gave to the






(Copyright, 1903, by William II. Ran, Phila.)

Tiberias and Sea of Galilee.



children of Israel at Mount Sinai. Sabbath means rest. We
ought on that day to lay aside our everyday work, and to



352



ON HOLY GROUND.



learn about the Lord and heaven, and to make the day as
heavenly as we can. Then it will be a help towards the true
heavenly rest when there is no more hard effort in putting
away wrong thoughts and feelings, and in doing right.

The Jews forgot that the Sabbath ought to be a heavenly
day, that they ought to think about the Lord and heaven, and
that they ought to do good, kind things which would make
the day like heaven. They said that people must keep the
day by not doing the least thing that was useful. They must
not walk but a little way; they must carry only the least
little thing. They must do almost nothing to help those
that were sick. There were large books full of rules about
what could be and could not be done. If one kept them he
would surely not make the day at all like heaven. Did the
Lord keep the Sabbath so! He healed the sick and did

works of kindness on
that day more than on
other days. On that
day He taught the
people in the syna-
gogue.

It was a Sabbath
day. The Lord was
walking with the dis-
ciples in one of the
beaten paths through
the wheat fields.
There were no walls
or fences. As they
walked the Lord was
teaching, and the dis-
ciples as they listened
picked some of the
ears of wheat which
overhung the path,
and rubbed out the grains in their hands and ate them.
There were some who found fault, not because they had
taken the grain, for it was the law among the Jews that
a traveller might pick what he wanted to eat ; but they found
fault because the disciples had done this work on the Sab-
bath. But the Lord said that they did no wrong. Indeed




(Copyright, 1003, by C. H. Graves, Phila.)
At a village well.



THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. 353

the disciples' eating as they walked was a picture of what
we all do on the Sabbath day if we listen to the Lord's teach-
ing and are strengthened by it in heavenly life.

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his
disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples
do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto
them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they
that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat
the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which
were with him, but only for the priests'? * Or have ye not read in the law,
how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath,
and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater
than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy,
and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son
of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. — Matthew XII. IS.

Read what happened on another Sabbath.

And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue : and,
behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him,
saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days ? that they might accuse him.
And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have
one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold
on it, and lift it out ? How much then is a man better than a sheep ? Where-
fore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man,
Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored
whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council
against him, how they might destroy him. — Matthew XII. 9~14.



THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.

We remember the beautiful shore where the Sea of Galilee
and the plain of Gennesaret meet, where Capernaum stood,
which was the Lord's home after leaving Nazareth, and
where the fishermen lived whom the Lord called to be His

* You can read about David and the shewbread in 1 Sam. xxi. David
eating the holy bread of the tabernacle and sharing it with others repre-
sented the Lord strengthening Himself with the Divine knowledge of what
is good and imparting of that strength, by His instruction, to those about
Him. Like the eating of the grain as they walked, it was a true picture
of the Sabbath. The priests busy in the temple were still another picture
of heavenly usefulness, which is the real Sabbath.

23



354



ON HOLY GROUND.



disciples. From the southern corner of the green plain a
valley opens up into the hills, with steep rocky sides. Clouds
of pigeons fly out from its cliffs giving it the name of the
i < pigeon Valley. ' ' Looking up the valley from the shore we
see a mountain much higher than the rest. It has a broad
top rising a little at either end, and is called the "Horns of
Hattin. ' ' Hattin is a little town near by. The people living
in the plain and sailing on the sea often looked up to this
mountain above their home, and we think of it as the moun-




(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)

Plain and Horns of Hattin, from ruins of Irbid.

tain into which the Lord led the disciples and the multitude,
to speak to them the Blessings and Sermon on the Mount.

Come with me up through the valley and climb the steep
slope. As we saw from below, the top is broad, rising higher
at either end. In fact, there is a sort of natural wall all
about enclosing a large level space in the mountain's top.
From the highest points, what a wide, beautiful view!
Meadows checkered with many-colored crops, and green hills
crowned here and there by little towns ; far in the north,
overlooking all the rest, the snowy ridge of Hermon. Below
us as we face the Sea of Galilee are lovely sweeps of meadow,
reaching to the brink, beyond which we see the dark blue
water in its deep basin, and fainter blue mountains on the
eastern shore. At our feet the meadows are broken by the



THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. 355



rugged gorge up which we came, and through this opening
we see the head of the Sea of Galilee and the lovely plain
of Gennesaret, in the old time so green and so full of busy
life. •

This mountain-top is a peaceful, sunny place up above
the busy world. It seems a fitting place for the Lord to lift
the thoughts of the
people to higher
things ; to help them
to look down on their
every-day life, and to
teach them the heav-
e n 1 y motives from
which Christian peo-
ple ought to live.
Perhaps it was in
one of the higher
tops that He spent
the night in prayer,
and in the morning
appointed the twelve apostles. Then He came down to a
level place, perhaps to this little plain between the moun-
tain's "horns," and sitting here with them in this peaceful
spot above the world, taught them the Blessings and the
rest of the Sermon on the Mount.




(By permission of Palestine Exploration Fund.)

Looking down the Pigeon Valley to the
Plain of Gennesaret.



And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain : and when he
was set, his disciples came unto him : and he opened his mouth, and taught
them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit : for their's is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek : for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for
they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful : for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart : for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers : for they shall be called the children of
God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake : for
their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you,
and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for
my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad : for great is your reward in
heaven : for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. —
Matthew V. 1-12.



356



ON HOLY GROUND.



The Lord went on to tell the disciples and others what
power for good they would have in the world, if they faith-
fully lived the heavenly truth which He was teaching them.

Ye are the salt of the earth : but if the salt have lost his savour, where-
with shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast
out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world.



Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Loring) WorcesterOn holy ground : Bible stories with pictures of Bible lands → online text (page 30 of 42)