After leaving the mount of temptation, we drove past the cable cars that took passengers up From a kilometer away or so, would of been fun to go on these, but the road signs took us to the foot of the cliff.
Back to the town I saw this mosque and church close together:
I was quite excited to visit this next place…
This tree is meant to be the one that Zacchaeus, the tax collector, climbed to see Jesus, as he couldn’t see him through the crowd.
Luke 19: 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
I think its interesting that Jesus asked him quite bluntly that he needed to stay at his house that night, where as in the culture of the UK, we would probably feel more embarrased about having to ask someone we had only just met if we could stay over at short notice. Here in the middle east, hospitality is such an important thing.
Theres no guarantee on the authenticity of this place, its interesting that the tree is burnt from being struck by lightening at some point.
The tree is well protected by these railings and there is no way to get right up to it, let alone use it as a place to see someone speaking in a crowded in a public place. It does seem like a good place to imagine Jesus speaking in a prominant part of city though.
My friend didn’t buy this scarf in the end, the man selling them, taking our picture wanted too much for it, and these Palestinian scarves were made famous by Yasser Arafat, so not really someone in history that should be remembered fondly.
This was the last place in our brief day trip to Jericho is we went back to the hotel and showered and went out to church.
Sadly I didn’t get to see any traces of history of Jericho’s old city walls or inhabitants, seems this was on the other side of town. Never mind I think I will be back here again.
1. Crossing into the oldest city in the world – 2. Jericho’s town centre – 3. Church on the cliff – 4. View of Jericho’s plain – 5. The tree