At some point most tours to Israel will travel either north or south through the Jordan Valley but the participants usually will not have an opportunity to actually get close to the Jordan River south of the Sea of Galilee unless this happens at the over commercialized Yardenit Baptismal site.
This situation can now be remedied by a one hour visit to the newly opened Qasr el-Yahud site. Here one can actually put their feet into the river!
Here, in a quiet shaded area, a tour leader and/or guide can help their group reflect on the significance of important topics such as:
- Joshua and the Children of Israel crossing the Jordan (Joshua 2)
- The Jordan as a boundary of the Land of Canaan (Numbers 34: 12; Joshua 22)
- Elijah being taken up to heaven (2 Kings 2) and the beginning of Elisha’s ministry
- John baptizing in the area (Matt 3:1-17; Mark 1:2-11; Luke 3:1-22; John 1:6-34)
- The baptism of Jesus and its significance for the opening of Jesus’ public ministry
- The “Perean Ministry” of Jesus
In addition to being a wonderful teaching context, there are clean bathrooms and a shop with snacks and souvenirs.
The site is run by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (click here for open times and access details) and entrance is currently free! IMHO this is a great stop in the southern Jordan Valley.
To view additional images of Qasr el-Yahud Click Here.
I plan on blogging on additional travel tips every Tuesday (Israel, Turkey, Greece, etc.).