Jesus never stayed in one place too long. And he certainly didn't set up religious shop in a building waiting for people to come see him. He went from town to town and village to village telling and showing people about the love of God. In the days leading up to his death, he traveled as far north as the city of Caesarea Philippi, which is now an uninhabited area in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria.
While in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus went up on a high mountain, believed to be Mount Hermon. Jesus' disciples, Peter, James, and John accompanied him up the mountain and there witnessed his transfiguration. Luke's gospel tells us that it was in Caeserea Philippi, after his transfiguration, that Jesus turned his face toward Jerusalem and began the final leg of his journey that would lead him ultimately to the cross.
This city on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee was like a home base for Jesus in northern Israel. Although it is now purely a historical site, at the time of Jesus it was believed to be a thriving fishing community and home to a synagogue as well as to Jesus' disciples, Peter, Andrew, James, and John.
As the second stop on Jesus' journey toward the cross, Capernaum no doubt held a special place in Jesus' heart. Several of the events of Jesus' life and ministry took place there, including the healing of Simon Peter's mother-in-law, the healing of the paralytic man, and healing of the Roman Centurion's servant. He is also recorded in Matthew and Luke as saying his heart was broken by Capernaum for their lack of faith in him, despite everything they had heard him say and seen him do. And it is in Capernaum where Jesus warns his disciples about the power of temptation.
Judea & beyond the Jordan
This place is an area or region, more than a specific town. ‘The Jordan’ meant the Jordan River and beyond it meant east of it. Saying ‘beyond the Jordan’ would be like saying ‘outside the perimeter’ in Atlanta. It doesn’t refer to an exact point on a map, but it does convey a sense of place. This area today is the westernmost part of the country of Jordan.
It was here, beyond the Jordan River, on the outskirts of what the Hebrew people would have considered their territory, where Jesus pointed out how much people tend to value and pursue power, authority, and control. In contrast, he said that in God’s economy, being great means being a humble servant.
Most people recognize this biblical city from the Old Testament story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho. It was here where the Israelites first experienced the fulfillment of God's Promised Land. Jericho is 15 miles northeast of Jerusalem, about the same distance from Roswell to Marietta, and it is where Jesus was temped in the wilderness and where Jesus later changed the life of the wee little tax-collector named Zacchaeus.
On his way into Jericho, Jesus met a blind man who was begging for help. Jesus gave him the mercy he was asking for and changed his life, and the lives of the people around him, forever.
Bethany & Bethphage
These were two neighboring communities sometimes referred to as one area, like twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul or Roswell and Alpharetta. Located less than 2 miles outside of Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, Bethany was the home of Jesus’ close friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When Jesus was in the region of Judea, he appears to have stayed in the home of his friends.
The area of Bethany, Bethphage, and the Mount of Olives holds much historical biblical significance. The Garden of Gethsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, is where Jesus was eventually arrested before his crucifixion and the Mount of Olives is the place from which Jesus ascended into heaven after his resurrection. It is also the place where Jesus’ disciples got the donkey upon which Jesus would ride into Jerusalem.
Temple in Jerusalem
At the time of Jesus, Jerusalem was the capital city of Israel and location of the Holy Temple, where Jewish people would come to offer sacrifices and worship God. It was the center of the known universe to Israelites. Today, Jerusalem is a holy city for the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths and both Israel and Palestine call Jerusalem their capital.
After Jesus is arrested at the foot of the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem is the site of his trial, conviction, and crucifixion. One of the events precipitating his arrest was Jesus’ condemnation of the religious merchants at the Temple in Jerusalem who were profiting off of the worship of God.