Sea of Galilee
When you are on your tour or pilgrimage to the Sea of Galilee, you will have the chance to discuss many things about this important body of water.
You will know you are hearing about the Sea of Galilee if...
1. …you hear any of the following names: the Sea of Chinnereth, the Lake of Gennesaret, the Sea of Tiberias, or Lake Tiberias (among others).
Chinnereth, Gennesaret, and Tiberias are the names of ancient cities located on the Sea of Galilee; Chinnereth on the SW shore, Gennesaret on the NW shore, and Tiberias on the W shore. (The modern city of Tiberias remains.)
2. …you are talking about a sea located in the Lower Galilee, in the northern part of the Jordan Rift Valley.
The Jordan Rift Valley, through which the Jordan River flows, includes the entire length of the Jordan River, beginning at the headwaters at Dan and Banias, continuing through the Dead Sea, and eventually all the way to the Red Sea. The Jordan River is the primary source of the waters of the Sea of Galilee.
3. …you are talking about the only natural fresh water sea in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as the largest and most important source of drinking water in Israel.
4. …you are talking about the place where a large part of Jesus’ ministry took place.
The city of Capernaum, located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, served as Jesus’ “home base” after leaving Nazareth (see Matt 4:13 and Luke 4:16-31).
5. …you are talking about the place where Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James and John to leave their fishing nets and boats to follow him. (See Matt 5:18-22).
6. …you are talking about the time when Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves…and they obeyed! (See Matt 8:23-27).
Jesus was asleep in the boat when he and his disciples were crossing the sea. After the storm arose, the disciples, who were scared to death, woke Jesus and cried out for him to save them. Amazed that the winds and the sea—which represented chaos and something to be feared to the disciples—obeyed Jesus, the disciples responded with, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” The answer is that He is the one who has power and authority over the sea …He is the Lord of the Cosmos!
7. …you are talking about the time when Jesus walked on water! (See Matt 14:22-33).
Jesus had sent the disciples ahead of him in a boat to the other side of the sea, to Gennesaret, which is SE of Capernaum. In order to cross the sea, Jesus walked upon the water. When the disciples saw him, and that the winds stopped they worshipped him and said, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
8. …you are talking about the time when, after his resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared to his disciples—who had returned to fishing—on the beach and made them breakfast! (See John 21:1-14).
9. …you willingly rise early in the morning to board a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee and enjoy a breathtaking view!
Learn more about the Sea of Galilee:
- Rainey, Anson F., and R. Steven Notley. The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World. Jerusalem: Carta, 2006.