About the Via Maris blog…
Via Maris is an anthology of twenty-four short stories I have written, all focused on Jesus and of his influence on people who encountered him – both in his time, and in ours. Beginning February 1, 2024, a new story will be published on my blog on the first of each month.
Why the title Via Maris?
From before the Bronze Age, Israel served as the natural land bridge for trade and travel in the Fertile Crescent, joining Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia and Egypt. Fifty-some years before the advent of Christ, Julius Caesar pressed the Roman Empire outward to encompass Gaul, Britain, Asia Minor and Africa. To effect the transport of troops and goods in the establishment of the Pax Romana, roads were needed, many of them. Paving centuries-old trade routes was logical, practical. The Romans built very good roads … so good that portions of the viae Romanae remain in use to this day, their original cobblestones still intact.
Parallel to the Mediterranean and serving trade between the Empire’s north and south boundaries, Europe to Africa – Israel’s land bridge roadways were called Via Maris – the Way of the Sea. Following the geographical constraints of the land, the Via Maris passed through the Galilee where Jesus began his ministry. Jesus and his disciples would have known it, walked on it.
In faithful response to Jesus’ simple instruction, “Go and make disciples of all nations … baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit … teach them to obey everything I have commanded you,” it was on the Via Maris that the gospel made its way outward to Ashkelon and Ashdod, Gaza and Canaan, to Migdal and Hazor, Damascus and Memphis and Anatolia. To Europe and Africa and Asia. To the Americas. Today, more than two billion people from every country of the world now call themselves followers of Christ.
Consider this prophecy of Isaiah, written some 700 years before Jesus was born:
… there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.
In the past, Yahweh humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali
but in the future He will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Via Maris,
beyond Jordan …
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; upon those
who live in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned. Yahweh
has enlarged the nation and increased their joy. They rejoice before
Him as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when
dividing plunder. Just as in the day of Midian’s defeat, Yahweh
has shattered the yoke that burdens his chosen ones, the bar across
their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot
worn in battle, every garment rolled in blood is destined for
burning, fuel for the fire. For unto us a son is given and
the government will be on his shoulders. He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince
of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will
be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his Kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from
that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Come…let’s take Jesus’ hand, walk along the Via Maris …
just a click away on my first blog, In Arabah …