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Sea of Galilee Overview

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Places of Interest

Sea of Galilee


1. The Sea of Galilee is located in the northern part of Israel, known as the Galilee region. Therefore, it’s called the Sea of Galilee.


2. It is also referred to in Scripture by other names, such as Ginnosar, Lake of Gennesar, Gennesaret, Sea of Chinneroth, Kinneret, and Sea of Tiberias.


3. It’s about 70 miles (115 Km.) north of Jerusalem and about 27 miles (45 Km.) east of the Mediterranean Sea.


4. It's a freshwater lake about 8 miles (13 km.) wide by about 12 miles (19 km.) long, and 150 ft. (46 m.) deep.


5. It's located about 700 ft. (213 m.) below sea level.


6. It's a key freshwater source for much of Israel.


7. Because of its location, storms can arise quickly and drop down onto its surface without much warning.


8. The Sea of Galilee was located at a main crossroads of the known world during Christ's ministry on earth. This international highway called the “Via Maris” (Way of the Sea), linked travel between the three continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe.


9. Travelers from these 3 continents were forced to use this route as there were few other options for traveling to and from each continent. This was so because the desert to the east was impassible due to a lack of water, and the Mediterranean Sea was located to the west, which was not a realistic option for travel as it was expensive and ships were scarce.


10. The Via Maris passed right along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and old ruins and markers show its existence.


11. The north shore of the Sea of Galilee was even more traveled than the roads and routes leading through Jerusalem.


12. Oftentimes, we might think Christ was hiding out somewhere in a remote location. However, just the opposite was true. He chose the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee (and Capernaum was located at a key place along this route) as a center stage so His message would reach as many people as possible in the world.


13. By spending most of His ministry time in the northern Galilee area, Christ’s miracles traveled by word of mouth to the ends of the earth. This laid the groundwork and sowed the seeds of the Gospel to the rest of the known world so that the evangelization work done later by the apostles would be easier and more acceptable to those who heard the message about Christ.


Historical Background


1. Abraham entered the Promised Land through the gateway of the Sea of Galilee when he first journeyed from Ur of the Chaldeans.


2. In Matthew 4 we find that Jesus established his home ministry base in the town of Capernaum which is located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.


3. At least six of the 12 disciples were from around the Sea of Galilee: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, and Philip.


4. According to Acts 1:11, the rest of the disciples were from the Galilee area as well.


Places of Interest (Please See Above Map)


Listed clockwise, starting at Tiberias


1. Tiberias


2. Mount Arbel – Likely place the Great Commission was given.


3. Magdala – Hometown of Mary Magdalene, from whom Christ cast out 7 demons.


4. Gennesaret (Ginasar) Yigal Allon Center – Jesus Boat Museum


5. Calling of the disciples.


6. Tel Chinnereth (Kinneret) – Identified as the Biblical city listed by Joshua as one of the fortified cities in the Naftali tribe region (Josh 19).


7. Restoration of Peter at Tabgha – Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter


8. The traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000 at Tabgha – Church of the Multiplication


9. Mount of Beatitudes – Place from where Christ preached the Sermon on the Mount.


10. Chorazin – One of the 3 towns Jesus cursed because of their unbelief.

11. Sower's Cove – Likely place Christ preached the Parables of the Kingdom sermon.


12. Capernaum - Homebase of Jesus, Franciscan Site


13. Capernaum - Homebase of Jesus, Greek Orthodox Site


14. Capernaum National Park and Peer – Great place to get out into the Sea of Galilee a bit.


15. St. Peter's Fish Restaurant Mifratz-Amnun – Nice restaurant and beach location.


16. Bethsaida traditional location.


17. Bethsaida newly discovered location – New archaeological evidence points to this place as the real Bethsaida.


18. Gamla – Place many Jews jumped to their deaths fleeing the Romans in 66 AD.


19. Great Sea of Galilee lookout place.


20. Kursi - Demon-possessed man healed. Pigs run down a steep slope into the sea just south of Kursi.


21. Feeding of the 5,000 – The most accurate location according to Scripture.


22. Horvat Susita – Old Roman City atop of a hill on the east side of the Sea of Galilee.


23. Yardenit – Nice baptismal site and souvenir store.


24. Hamat Tiberias National Park – Old Ruins of ancient Tiberias.


The Sea of Galilee in the Bible


1. Jesus calmed the sea here two times.


2. Christ fed 5,000 and 4,000 on its eastern shores.


3. Christ walked on water in the northern part of the sea.


4. Christ preached the Sermon on the Mount here, which is His most famous and longest sermon.


5. Jesus cast demons out of a herd of 2,000 pigs here.


6. Christ did the majority of his miracles here in this region.


7. The miraculous “Catch of Fish” was performed here by Jesus.


8. Jesus performed every class of miracle to show He was Lord of every aspect of creation. Here are the kinds of miracles Christ performed:


  • He healed all kinds of sickness.

  • He had power over the demons and the demonic world.

  • He had power over the weather and calmed the sea.

  • He had power over nature and cursed a fig tree, and it died.

  • He had power over animals – He cast demons into a herd of swine, performed miraculous catches of fish, rode into Jerusalem on an untamed donkey.

  • He had power over food – He fed 5,000 and 4,000 people.

  • He had power over death – He raised a number of people from the dead and rose from the dead Himself.

  • Jesus had power to forgive sins Mark 2:10.


9. Christ preached the parables of the Kingdom from its shore.


10. Jesus spent around 60% of His ministry time on earth around the Sea of Galilee.


11. The cursing of the unrepentant cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum was pronounced here by Jesus.


12. The Great Commission was likely given on Mount Arbel, which is the tallest mountain around the Sea of Galilee and has the best view.


13. Jesus appeared here to the disciples after His resurrection.


14. Jesus restored Peter to ministry here.


15. The Gospels mention multitudes of people following Jesus thirty-four times. These great crowds could have easily reached 15,000 or more in size.


Matthew 4:23–25: And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.


Mark 6:30–34: The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) 32 They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. 33 The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.


Faith Lesson from the Sea of Galilee


1. Christ chose to locate His ministry base in Capernaum which was on the Via Maris so He would have maximum impact on a worldwide scale. Do we position ourselves to have maximum impact regarding the ministries we are involved in? 


2. Jesus performed every class of miracle to show He was Lord of every aspect of creation. Do we believe Jesus was fully God and fully man at the same time?


3. Christ cursed the three towns of Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida because they heard so much teaching and witnessed many miracles but grew apathetic and hardhearted. Are we becoming apathetic toward Christ and His Word in our own personal lives?


4. Christ gave the Great Commission overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Are we seriously fulfilling the Great Commission, or have we become lazy and apathetic to this key command?


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