Tag Archives: Ministy of Jesus

Jesus rides a donkey from Bethphage to Jerusalem

Bethphage is mentioned in the New Testament in only one incident from the ministry of Jesus (Matthew 21:1, Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29).

And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.  When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples,   saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.'”  So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.  And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”  And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”  And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. (Luke 19:28-35 ESV)

John records the event but does not mention Bethphage (John 12:12ff.).

The exact site of Bethphage is not known, but it certainly was not far from Kefr et Tur, the place of Byzantine traditions. The present Franciscan chapel was built there in 1883.

Franciscan chapel at Bethphage. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Franciscan chapel at Bethphage. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Roman road from Jericho to Jerusalem went over the Mount of Olives between Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives. Before reaching the top of the mountain a spur or bypass turned south to Bethphage and Bethany.

A colt at Nazareth Village. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A colt at Nazareth Village. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In a 1975 article in Biblical Archaeologist (Vol. 38, No. 1), John Wilkinson wrote about “The Way from Jerusalem to Jericho.” He and his party tried to trace out known remnants of the old Roman road between the two cities. This 12½ mile trip from Jericho up to Jerusalem took 7 hours and forty-nine minutes.

Around the Sea of Galilee

Our great little hotel in Tiberias, the Ron Beach, has its own boarding dock. I was delighted when I learned that the water level was high enough that this could be done. This morning we stepped out of our rooms and walked a few yards to boarded our boat for a ride on the Sea of Galilee.

We board our boat from the Ron Beach Hotel in Tiberias. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

We board our boat from the Ron Beach Hotel in Tiberias. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

After an orientation from the Sea, we visited major sites around the Sea of Galilee. These included the Roman Boat, Magdala (we actually entered the site, but were not allowed to make photos of the new excavations; it is not ready for tourist yet), Chorzain, Capernaum, the Mount of Beatitudes, the Cove of the Sower, Bethsaida/Geshur, Kursi, and a view of Hippos.

At Capernaum I waited with patience until I was able to get this photo of the interior of the 4th century (reconstructed) synagogue without a tourist in attendance. Not easy, I can tell you.

Interior of the Capernaum Synagogue. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Interior of the Capernaum Synagogue. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

To my knowledge everyone in our group is well and enjoying this wonderful educational and spiritual experience.