There is a little known psychological phenomenon called Jerusalem Syndrome. It effects mostly western pilgrims to the holy land of Israel. By the way, we are all pilgrims in one way or another aren’t we; wondering through the desert looking for that land of milk and honey.
Anyway these folks, many of them protestants for some reason, after wandering around some holy sites, start thinking maybe they are Biblical characters themselves including John the Baptist, Mother Mary or even Christ.
I have encountered a similar sort of effect in some mental hospitals. Messiahs and angels seem to abound. When you have been hurt real bad, lots of folks tend to elevate a little, so as to not hate themselves so much.
I liked to tease these folks some; bowing and prostrating when I saw them and asking them to answer silly, impossible questions, but I also made them my friends. Nothing so important in the world as a friend.
At any rate that is sort of a long introduction to a sort of history piece. Archeologists working in Nazareth believe they may have located the house where Jesus grew up. Now there is no way of knowing for certain, but just the idea of it gets the imagination flowing a little bit.
Imagine Christ and his brothers working with and learning from Joseph, his carpentry trade. The family reciting prayers together at meals and holy times.
The house was unearthed by a group of nuns in the 1880’s and the order recently gave archeologists permission to study. The Romans cultural influence was strong in the region at that time, but Nazareth resisted the cultural intrusion and stuck with there ancient Jewish customs. Limestone vessels were found, the Jews believed limestone could not be made impure.
The structure served as a church twice throughout history first during the Byzantine period when it was covered in mosaics and later in the 12 century during the crusades. According to a Professor Dark of the United Kingdom. Dark said that both church groups believed it was the original home of Christ.
The house is partly made of mortar-and-stone walls, and was cut into a rocky hillside. “The structure had been constructed by cutting back a limestone hillside as it sloped toward the wadi (valley) below, leaving carefully smoothed freestanding rock walls, to which stone-built walls were added,” Dark stated.
“The structure included a series of rooms,” he wrote. “One, with its doorway, survived to its full height. Another had a stairway rising adjacent to one of its walls. Just inside the surviving doorway, earlier excavations had revealed part of its original chalk floor.”
Now it is a desire of mine to pilgrimage to Israel someday and the idea of seeing the home of Jesus, well it excites me some. I am not worried about Jerusalem Syndrome; although we all may have a secret Messiah dwelling in us somewhere, a hero of some sorts who wants to help others in the best possible way.
He heals the sick and he heals the lame, says you can do it too in Jesus name. That is Van Morrison, a rock and roll hero of mine. Just thought I would throw that in, just so you folks understand the potential Christ has given you.
I may never pilgrimage to Israel, but I know Christ is with me where ever I am at and as he tells us, “The kingdom of Heaven is within.”
Thanks to Owen Jarus over at Live Science for the details of this story. Hobo John here, I love you with everything that I have. That is my motto, my mantra and the truth of things. Send me a friend request on facebook why don’t you, and may you realize God is blessing your every breathe.
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