Among Holy Land sites, the Sea of Galilee has changed comparatively little since Lord Jesus Christ walked on its shores and recruited four fishermen as His first disciples.
A picturesque, heart-shaped lake set among hills in northern Israel, it is one of the lowest-lying bodies of water on earth (some 210 metres below sea level). This freshwater “sea” is 21 km long and 13 km across at its widest point, with a maximum depth of 43 metres.
It’s other names include the Sea of Tiberias, the Lake of Gennesaret and in Hebrew Lake Chinnereth or Kinneret.
THE LAND WHERE LORD JESUS CHRIST PERFORMED MOST OF HIS MIRACLES
In the New Testament, much of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ occurs on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. In those days, there was a continuous ribbon development of settlements and villages around the lake and plenty of trade and ferrying by boat. The Synoptic Gospels of Mark (1:14–20), Matthew (4:18–22), and Luke (5:1–11) describe how Lord Jesus Christ recruited four of His apostles from the shores of the Kinneret: the fishermen Simon and his brother Andrew and the brothers John and James.
One of Lord Jesus Christ’s famous teaching episodes, the Sermon on the Mount, is supposed to have been given on a hill overlooking the Kinneret. Many of His miracles are also said to have occurred here including His walking on water, calming the storm, the disciples and the miraculous catch of fish, and his feeding 5 thousand people in Tabgha. In Apostle John’s Gospel the sea provides the setting for Jesus’ third post resurrection appearance to his disciples (John 21).
While we are together on this Holy Land, I want you to feel, through my eyes, every possibility to uplift your Soul, to choose the Real Love of God!
Carved stone decorated with menorah
Magdala was a major first-century port on the Sea of Galilee, a centre of trade and commerce, and an exporter of salted fish to markets as far away as Europe. Archaeological discoveries early in the 21st century have made it a burgeoning pilgrimage destination.
I have always wanted to go there so much because of Mary Magdalene.
This enigmatic woman — revered as a Saint by the Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches — was one of the few persons named in the Gospels as being present at Lord Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and the first recorded witness of His Resurrection.
Whether she lived in Magdala or was simply born there is unknown, but she was apparently a wealthy woman.
There is a Gospel of Mary Magdalene found in the Nag Hammadi Scriptures and I was fascinated by her destiny and by the way she transformed and uplift on the Divine path of Lord’s Light!
Mary was called “Apostle of the Apostles”
All four Gospels refer to a close follower of Lord Jesus Christ called Mary Magdalene. Apostle Luke says she had been cured of “seven demons” and he lists her first among the women who accompanied Jesus and supported his ministry from their own resources (8:2-3).
After Lord Jesus Christ died she was one of the women who took spices for anointing to the tomb. They found the tomb empty, but “two men in dazzling clothes” gave them the news that Jesus had risen. (Luke 24:1-12)
Later Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Mary. At first she thought He was the gardener, but she recognised Him when He spoke her name. Then she announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”. (John 20:1-18)
By the 3rd century, Mary Magdalene was described by the theologian Hippolytus of Rome as the “Apostle of the Apostles”.
A Greek tradition has her dying in Ephesus, with her relics preserved in Constantinople. A French tradition says she convertedProvence to Christianity and her relics ended up in Vézelay Abbey in Burgundy, where they are still venerated.
I want you to read and feel the following conversation Mary Magdalene had with Saint John the Baptist (the biggest Prophet according to Lord Jesus Christ words) who said to her:
– Mary, how long can you deny yourself?
– What do you know about me? – she asked.
– A fallen woman, divorced, deserted, you know what pain is! What binds you to Herodias – a marriage breaker? Riches? Power? But what have you won?
– A man and perhaps his love.
– Is that what you want?
– I’ve done everything to reach this.
– But it’s still isn’t enough for you Mary! What do you really want? What do you desire most? Mary…
– I want to love and to be loved.
– The love of a man so easily gets lost.
– I know.
– A love that is deeper, the one that brings peace! The love of God!
– And where is this love? In pain, in poor, in the misery of the world?
– God hides from us! So we find him through longing. In the end, no matter what the question is, God is the only answer! Every life has its purpose Mary, mine is to prepare the way for the Messiah!
– Even if that should cost you everything?
This conversation touches me deeply every time I read it as within every word of it you can feel the power of the Souls of both of them! Mary Magdalene finding her way to Lord Jesus Christ & Saint John the Baptist ready to bear everything for his pure, unconditional love for God!
The Hill where Lord Jesus Christ did His miraculous Multiplication of Loaves and Fish to feed a multitude.
FEEDING FOLLOWED BEHEADING
According to chapter 14 of Matthew’s Gospel, the miraculous feeding came after Lord Jesus Christ learnt that Herod Antipas had beheaded His cousin, John the Baptist.
Lord Jesus Christ “withdrew in a boat . . . to a deserted place by himself”. Crowds followed and He had compassion on them, curing their sick. In the evening He told the multitude — 5000 men, plus women and children — to sit on the grass. Then he took five loaves and two fish, “looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves . . . and the disciples gave them to the crowds”. After they had eaten, the leftovers filled 12 baskets.
Tabgha is at the foot of the Mount of Beautitudes, about 3km south-west of Capernaum. The name is an Arab mispronunciation of the Greek Heptapegon (meaning “seven springs”). Several warm sulphurous springsenter the lake here, attracting fish especially in winter.
This was a favourite spot for fishermen from nearby Capernaum, and its beach was familiar to Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples. It is easy to imagine Jesus speaking from a boat in one of the little bays, with crowds sitting around on the shore.
Tranquil Tabgha, on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee, is best known for Christ’s miraculous multiplication of loaves and fish to feed a multitude.
But it is also remembered for Lord Jesus Christ’s third appearance to His disciples after His Resurrection, when He tested and commissioned St Peter as leader of His Church.
Two churches commemorate these events, and pilgrims find the place a serene location for meditation, prayer and study.
THE CHURCH OF MULTIPLICATION OF THE LOAVES AND THE FISHES
THE CHURCH OF MULTIPLICATION OF THE LOAVES AND THE FISHES
I am in front of the Church of the Multiplication entering the yard and feeling so in peace sitting by this beautiful Olive tree inside it.
There are also lovely fishes and you can enjoy their beautiful colors.
I am so looking forward to enter the Church itself as inside it I know, I will have the most beautiful Spiritual Journey.
You will always hear from me that as true believers in Lord Jesus Christ and His followers, you have to go to Church’s services and especially the Eucharist (The Holy Liturgy, during which you can take Holy Communion) as the Church is “The Body of Jesus Christ” and our Lord is it’s Head.
The modern Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha stands on the site of a 4th-century church, displaying Byzantine mosaic decorations that are among the most elegantly executed in the Holy Land.
The whole floor depicts flora and fauna of the area in vibrant colours — peacocks, cranes, cormorants, herons, doves, geese, ducks, a flamingo and a swan, as well as snakes, lotus flowers and oleanders.
But the best-known mosaic, on the floor near the altar, refers to the miracle the church commemorates. It shows a basket of loaves flanked by two Galilee mullet.
Beneath the altar is the rock on which it is believed Lord Jesus Christ placed the loaves and fish when he blessed them.
How can Lord Jesus Christ feed thousands of people with just two fish and five loaves?
We call something a “miracle” when someone does something that exceeds our estimation of their power. But our estimation can be an underestimation.
If Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of the Creation – “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16) – for Him to feed a few thousand people with even nothing would have been a piece of cake.
Exactly here on this miraculous place, where my Lord did this miracle, I am feeling how by Lord’s Will I have the ability to turn all goods in wealth and to multiply their power. And if you truly love our Lord with pure heart you will be blessed too by Lord’s grace!
Wealth Is a Gift from God to Be Used in His Service.
THE CHURCH OF THE PRIMACY OF SAINT PETER
THE CHURCH OF THE PRIMACY OF SAINT PETER
This squat building of black basalt, built in 1934, is where Lord Jesus Christ is believed to have made his third appearance to His disciples after His Resurrection.
As the event is described in the 21st chapter of St John, Apostle Peter and six other disciples had been fishing all night without catching anything. Just after daybreak Lord Jesus Christ stood on the beach, though they did not recognise Him.
Lord Jesus Christ told the disciples to cast their net on the right side of the boat and the net filled with 153 fish. When the disciples dragged the net ashore, they found that Lord Jesus Christ had cooked them breakfast on a charcoal fire.
The rock incorporated in the church floor is traditionally believed to be the place where Lord Jesus Christ prepared breakfast for His Apostoles after His Resurrection. It was known to medieval pilgrims as Mensa Christ (the table of Christ).
APOSTLE PETER WAS CHALLENGED THREE TIMES
After breakfast, Lord Jesus Christ challenged Apostle Peter three times with the question: “Do you love me?” Apostle Peter’s positive response to this three-fold challenge cancelled out his three-fold denial of Lord Jesus Christ the night before His crucifixion.
Then Lord Jesus gave Apostle Peter a three-fold commission: “Feed my lambs . . . . Tend my sheep . . . Feed my sheep.” And He also indicated that Apostle Peter would die by martyrdom.
After this event Apostle Peter’s primacy as head of the Apostles was recognized.
Beside the church, in a garden setting, is an area designed for group worship. Between this and the lake stands a modern bronze statue of Lord Jesus Christ symbolically commissioning Apostle Peter with His shepherd’s crook.
I am here with my children and we are washing our hands in the Holy Water of Galilee Sea. For me, this water is Holy Water. It is around 12:00 pm and a very beautiful white dove is flying above our heads! Such a great sign from our Lord.
As it is already lunchtime, we are moving to a place at Galilee Sea with a nice restaurant and splendid scenery, where I went before. I want to bring my children there too, to try the taste of tilapia fish.
Tilapia is rumored to be the fish that was caught by St. Peter in the Sea of Galilee and fed to the masses of Tabgha, an ancient town on the north-west coast of the sea, by Lord Jesus Christ. This is one of the reasons why the fish is also known as “St. Peter’s fish” and is separated from meat according to Lenten standards. To this day, there are still plenty of Tilapia that exist in the sea and they’re normally fished and labeled as “St. Peter’s fish” in local markets and restaurants.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
Galilee Sea, Israel
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
It was around the usually serene waters of the Sea of Galilee that Lord Jesus Christ began His public ministry, teachingin the synagogues and curing the sick. Crowds flocked to Him, “for he taught as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:29).
Perhaps His best-known discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, is believed to have been delivered on the Mount of Beatitudes (also known as Mount Eremos). This small hill is on the lake’s northwestern shore, between Capernaum and Tabgha.
ACOUSTICS AIDED PARABLE
About 1km northeast of Tabgha is a small bay with exceptional acoustic qualities. Here it is believed Lord Jesus Christ taught the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9) from a boat moored in the bay.
The semicircular bay, at the foot of the Mount of Beatitudes, is one of the most attractive places along the shoreline. It is called Sower’s Cove or the Bay of the Parables. The slope of the hill forms a natural amphitheatre, rather like a Roman theatre. Acoustical research has demonstrated that as many as 7000 people could hear a person speaking from a boat in the bay.
Pilgrims who test the acoustics, usually by reading the Gospel account, are amazed at how far the voice carries.
I try it too and I am amazed.
Here I am Praying and Maditating with Soul Energy Noosphere Regulators thinking deeply on the most poswerful speach of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus Christ’s Sermon begins with a description of those who would be blessed by God. For instance, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
The verses beginning with the word “blessed” (Matthew 5:3-11) are commonly called “Beatitudes”—meaning a state of Supreme Happiness. In essence, Lord Jesus Christ is stating that these perspectives would become the mental states of mind for all who would become His disciples.
The remainder of the sermon gives more specifics of conversion—how to be a Christian.
Lord Jesus Christ taught that His disciples were to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. They were commanded, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Christians’ examples are to reflect God’s righteousness to the world around them; and by doing so, their actions would shine like lights.
Following this admonition is a statement that is vital to understand, but often misunderstood: Christ said that He did not come “to destroy the Law or the Prophets” (verse 17). In this verse, He emphasized: “I did not come to destroy but to fulfill”—which is the opposite of destroying. Christ further stated that “whoever does and teaches them [the commandments], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (verse 19).
What follows is a detailed explanation of the spiritual understanding and application of the 10 Commandments. For example, Christ instructed the audience that it was a spiritual violation of the law against murder to be angry with a person without a cause (verse 22). He also said that men are to avoid adultery, even to the extent of avoiding lusting after women in their hearts (verse 28).
Just imagine a world in which these two admonitions were obeyed! There would be no road rage or violent verbal abuse. People would try to solve their differences peacefully, and the focus would be on reconciliation. Marriages would be saved, families would thrive and every type of pornography would cease to exist.
Then Christ gave some of the most difficult instructions to follow: “Love your enemies” and “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (verses 44, 48). God loves all peoples. He has deep concern even for those who take His name in vain and reject His very existence. That same level of love He has for all humanity is a love that He wants each person to exhibit toward others.
Within this sermon is a detailed explanation of how to pray. Christ said that converted Christians are not to “be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men” (Matthew 6:5). Rather, He told us to “go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place” (verse 6). Also, when we pray, we are not to use “vain repetitions” (verse 7). We are not to just repeat the same words over and over.
Christ then gave an outline of how we should pray (verses 9-13), praising God in heaven and asking that His Kingdom would come to this earth. We need to ask God for our daily bread (needs), and especially ask Him for forgiveness. After this, Christ admonished everyone to forgive others their sins and offenses, so our Heavenly Father will forgive us (verses 14-15).
Christ also discussed the topic of wealth. Where is our treasure? Which master do we serve? “You cannot serve God and mammon [riches]” (verse 24). Therefore we are not to worry about things in this life, what we will eat or drink or what we will wear. Our Heavenly Father already knows our needs. Christ also stated that God takes care of the needs of the birds, and He is certainly able to take care of our needs as well (verses 25-32).
Lord Jesus Christ then clearly showed us what our top priority should be in life: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (verse 33).
As Christ concluded the Sermon on the Mount, He admonished us to make proper choices. We are taught to make choices based on God’s instructions in the Bible and not simply follow the crowd by taking the easy way to live (Matthew 7:13-14). We are even warned about false prophets who claim to be Christian, but whose lives don’t reflect God’s values and true conversion. Prophets and ministers are to be evaluated by their fruits (verses 15-20).
Then Christ gave a very serious warning: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (verse 21).
Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is one. We must obey God’s instructions in the Bible, otherwise God will say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (verse 23).
The words of this sermon are as relevant today as they were when Christ spoke them! For “whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).
The question is, will we be like that wise man? Will we take these words to heart from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount?
This location was also an appropriate setting for the story of the sower and his seeds. There is fertile black earth, rocky ground and plenty of thorns and thistles.
When the darkness of night falls, it creeps around the world from east to west. In the same manner, the first beams of morning sunlight sweep around the world from east to west. Thus, the first area to slip into darkness is the first to catch those glimmering rays of sunrise.
This simple illustration from nature gives some understanding of an Old Testament truth that is fulfilled in the New Testament concerning the ministry of Lord Jesus Christ: It began in the area of Galilee.
The people of Galilee saw Lord Jesus Christ Power over man, over nature and over demons! It was there that people first came to know God in the flesh, as Lord Jesus proved His Messianic claims before going to Judea, Jerusalem.
The people of Galilee saw a great light, and their lives were never the same.
Have you met the one who is “the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12), the one who wants to be your Savior, the one who can and will change your life?