Today after leaving Jerusalem when had the opportunity to photograph Gibeah, the home of King Saul, and located in the tribal territory of Benjamin (1 Sam. 10:26).
We stopped at sea level en route to the Jordan, taking some photos of the Wilderness of Judea.
Then we went to Qasr al-Yahud, a recently opened baptismal site on the Jordan. This is likely very near the location where John baptized multitudes of people, including Jesus.
Jordan River at Qasr al-Yahud, newly opened baptismal site. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
There were many reeds along the Jordan at this point. I thought of Matthew 12:20, which quotes from Isaiah 42:3, a text which foretold of Jesus’ ministry and how He would go about His work:
He will not break a bruised reed or extinguish a smoldering wick, until he brings justice to victory (Mt. 12:20 NET Bible).
Bruised Reed at Qasr al-Yahud on Jordan's bank. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
If a reed is bent or bruised, like the one in this photo, it wouldn’t take much to snap it in two. Likewise if the wick is smoldering, that indicates that the oil is running low or the wick needs trimming. Either way, it wouldn’t take much to snuff it out.
But the text is really not talking about reeds or wicks; it is talking about people that are like bruised reeds or smoldering wicks. There is still some interest, there is a spark of life. Jesus would bind and strengthen the bruised reed, and He wants to fan the spark into a flame.
Of course Jesus could rebuke the false teacher or the hypocrite, as is the case in Matt. 23. But not everyone is in those categories; some people are bruised reeds; their strength is small, but someone who is truly a disciple of Christ can take start where they are and strengthen them and help them to get where they need to be.
Well we made other stops en route to Tiberias and are in our room on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Click images for larger view.