Our virtual hike through Galilee has reached one of the most famous bodies of water in the whole world, the Sea of Galilee in northeastern Israel.
Much of Jesus’ ministry was focused around the Sea of Galilee. His home base was Capernaum (Matthew 4:13) on the northern shore. He held many teaching sessions and performed many miracles near the Sea of Galilee.
At least 5 of His 12 apostles came from around the sea. Andrew, Peter, James, and John were fisherman that He drafted at the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18–22; Mark 1:16–20; Luke 5:1–11). Bethsaida (house of fishing) on the northern shore was the home of Peter, Andrew, and Philip (John 1:44). The first human witness of the Resurrection and a faithful disciple throughout His ministry was Mary Magdalene, presumably from Magdala on the western shore.
- Double Boatload of Fish (Luke 5:1-11)
After having caught nothing throughout a long night of hard work, Simon Peter was somewhat skeptical about trying again. Despite his judgement as an experienced fisherman that conditions were not good for fishing, he obeyed and caught so many fish that the nets began to break. Peter called James and John to bring their boat to help, and the boats were filled with so many fish that both boats began to sink.
This was undoubtedly the greatest day of their fishing career so far. As veteran fishermen, these men knew such a catch was no accident. This miracle once again revealed to them that Jesus was Lord over nature, just as they had seen earlier in His turning water to wine at the wedding at Cana. Peter, James, and John (and probably Andrew) were so astonished and impressed by this miracle that they left their fishing business for good and followed Jesus.
- Stilling the Storm (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:36-41; Luke 8:22-25)
This storm was so severe that the disciples, veteran sailors though they were, were in fear of their lives as the boat was about to sink. Yet Jesus calmed the winds and waves instantly with a word, “Hush, be still.” His disciples said, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Indeed, who but God can control the weather and forces of nature?
Jesus demonstrated Himself to be Lord of the Sea by this miracle. His disciples were the only witnesses of this miracle. Its purpose was to further clarify for them who He was.
Interestingly, Jesus was asleep in the storm and had to be awakened by His disciples. Their terror was quite understandable, yet Jesus found it inexplicable, for He chided them, “Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?” Despite their extreme predicament, He expected them to demonstrate faith, not fear.
Jesus’ deep sleep in the midst of such a horrific storm shows how much He needed physical rest at this point. His body was a true human body, subject to needs of rest, shelter, food, and water, just like those of other humans.
The next post will discuss two more miracles at the Sea of Galilee.
Soli Deo Gloria.
The Hike the Bible series is currently covering points of interest along two hiking trails through Galilee, the 40-mile Jesus Trail and the 39-mile Gospel Trail. These two trails re-create possible routes Jesus likely traversed during His sojourns in Galilee.
This is the eighteenth installment in the Hike the Bible series reviewing major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible.
Read the prequels:
1. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail (with video)
2. Hike the Bible – Gospel Trail (with video)
3. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail vs. Gospel Trail
4. Hike the Bible – Nazareth
5. Hike the Bible – Zippori
6. Hike the Bible – Mash’had
7. Hike the Bible – Cana (with video)
8. Hike the Bible – Roman Road
9. Hike the Bible – Via Maris
10. Hike the Bible – Horns of Hattin
11. Hike the Bible – Sermon on the Mount
12. Hike the Bible – Arbel Cliffs
13. Hike the Bible – Magdala (with video)
14. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene
15. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene, Lady or Tramp?
16. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene & the Resurrection
17. Hike the Bible – Sea of Galilee
Read the sequel:
19. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee 2
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Wednesday August 15, 2012 A.D.
Read my July 2012 newspaper column:
Friday the 13th
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)