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. Previous posts discussed the Double Boatload of Fish, Stilling the Storm, Feeding the 5,000, and Walking on Water miracles. Here is one more astonishing miracle from the Sea of Galilee.
– Resurrection Appearance & Miraculous Catch of Fish (John 21:1-14)
One night shortly after the Resurrection, seven of the disciples went fishing but caught nothing. Jesus, unrecognized on the shore, knowing they had caught nothing, told them to cast the net on the right side of the boat. They caught so many fish that they could not pull in the net.
John told Peter, “It is the Lord,” and Peter leaped into the sea and swam 100 yards to shore.
In the first century, three kinds of fish were commonly harvested from the Sea of Galilee. Barbels had barbs at the corners of their mouth. Sardines were probably the two small fish in the young boy’s lunch that Andrew gave to Jesus for the Feeding the 5,000 miracle.
The third fish is tilapia or musht, pictured at the right. Today it is usually called St. Peter’s Fish because it is believed to be the fish Peter caught and found a coin in its mouth to pay the temple tax for himself and Jesus in Capernaum (Matthew 17:24-27).
St. Peter’s Fish has a long comb-like dorsal fin. It can grow to 1.5 feet long and 3.3 lbs in weight. It is still today a popular food fish worldwide.
Since John’s account describes the net as full of large fish, tilapia was probably the fish they caught and had for breakfast with Jesus.
The appearance of Jesus cooking breakfast on the shore was in itself miraculous, for Jesus had been crucified, died, and buried only a few weeks previously. This was His third appearance to a group of disciples. John reported His appearance to Mary Magdalene and the two previous appearances to the disciples in John 20.
The purpose of Jesus’ appearances to the disciples was to prove to them without a shadow of a doubt that He was fully alive and had conquered death. On this occasion, Jesus performed a characteristic miracle (nowhere in the Gospels were the disciples able to catch fish without Jesus’ help), conversed with them, prepared breakfast, and ate with them.
These were convincing proofs, for John reports that all the disciples knew that it was the Lord (John 21:12). I accept the disciples testimony…Jesus really did rise from the dead!
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.
The next post will discuss more miracles at the Sea of Galilee.
This is the twentieth 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
19. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee 2
Read the sequel:
21. Hike the Bible – Jesus Boat
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Wednesday August 29, 2012 A.D.
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)