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 with His home base at Capernaum (Matthew 4:13) on the northern shore. He held many teaching sessions and performed many miracles near the Sea of Galilee.
Miracles at the Sea of Galilee
Some of Jesus’ most amazing and famous miracles occurred at the Sea of Galilee. The previous post discussed the Double Boatload of Fish and Stilling the Storm miracles. Here are two more astonishing miracles from the Sea of Galilee.
– Feeding the 5,000 (Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 6:34-44; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:1-15)
This is the only miracle Jesus performed that’s recorded in all four Gospels.
There were 5,000 men present plus women and children. So there were probably 20,000 to 30,000 people present. Such a large number is confirmed by Philip’s estimate of how much it would cost to feed the multitude. He said 200 denari would be insufficient (John 6:7). A denarius was about a day’s wage. So Philip is saying almost a year’s wages (40 weeks) would not be enough money to feed the crowd.
This was a major miracle of creation. Starting with 5 loaves and 2 fish, Jesus created enough bread and fish to satisfy everyone (Mark 6:42) plus 12 baskets of leftovers. Jesus instantaneously created thousands of loaves and thousands of fish to feed everybody.
It’s instructive that Jesus and His disciples did not litter or waste the remains of the meal, as they collected 12 full baskets of leftovers. This probably provided several more meals for the disciples.
– Walking on Water (Matthew 14:22-34; Mark 6:45-53; John 6:16-21)
Jesus walked across the Sea of Galilee in strong winds and turbulent waves. The sea was so heavy and the wind was so fierce that veteran sailors were straining at the oars (Mark 6:48).
When the boat was in the middle of the sea, a long distance from land (Mark 6:47; Matthew 14:24), Jesus approached walking on the water! The disciples were terrified! Their reaction is quite understandable, for this was an inconceivable event.
Peter showed real faith–much more than all the other disciples–in stepping out of the boat into the rolling waves and buffeting winds. It wasn’t like walking on a sidewalk to Jesus.
The strong wind frightened Peter, and he began to sink. Upon calling to Jesus for aid, he was rescued, and Jesus chided him for his little faith. Despite the terrifying circumstances (walking on water in a storm in the middle of the Sea of Galilee), Jesus expected His disciple to demonstrate firm faith. Jesus expects more faith from His disciples than even that displayed by Peter in this stressful situation. What a challenge, and an encouragement!
This Walking on Water miracle was actually a combination of 4 miracles:
– Jesus walked on the water,
– Peter walked on the water,
– Wind stopped as soon as Jesus got into the boat (Mark 6:51),
– Boat immediately moved from 3 or 4 miles out in the midst of the sea to the land (John 6:19-21).
By this miracle Jesus again demonstrated Himself as Lord of Nature. The result was the disciples worshiped Him as the Son of God (Matthew 14:33). The miracle was another sign to the disciples that Jesus was God.
The next post will discuss one more amazing miracle 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 nineteenth 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
18. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee
Read the sequel:
20. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee 3
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Wednesday August 22, 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)