Tuesday: HIERAPOLIS – LAODICEA – MILETUS
After the breakfast at the hotel, depart for the visit of Hierapolis; an ancient city of pagan cults, Hierapolis or “holy city” was evangelized by Paul and Epaphras. The Apostle Philip lived and is said to be buried here. Pamukkale, or “cotton castle” is a spa and resort center with its hot springs and cascading limestone pools. The Christians of Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches, (Rev. 3: 14-22, Col. 4:12-13) were chastised for being lukewarm, “You are neither cold nor hot” (Rev. 3: 15), and for being too comfortable incorporating pagan and Christian beliefs. In the famous scripture from Revelation (3: 20-21), Jesus says to the Laodicean Church: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…”. Today, there are many acres of ruins to see, including the stadium and columned streets. Continue to Miletus; home of ancient philosopher Thales (640-546 B.C.), one of the fathers of Greek geometry, astronomy, and philosophy. It was here, in the first Christian century, that the St. Paul, on his third missionary journey, called for the Ephesian elders and preached a powerful message to them (Acts 20:15-38). It was also here that St. Paul left his friend Trophimus, who was too ill to continue (II Timothy 4:20). As a port at the mouth of the Meander River, Miletos was a natural outlet for Phrygian trade. Like the one at Ephesus, however, Miletus’ sea harbor eventually filled with silt, and commerce dwindled. The city’s remote quietness makes it special to devout students of Scripture. Its ancient ruins include the marvelous 15,000-seat theatre. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.