We departed Jerusalem for the 75 mile drive to the Sea of Galilee, stopping in Nazareth to see Mary’s childhood home and where the angel appeared to her foretelling of the birth of Christ. The village was also the childhood home of Jesus and the location for his father’s carpentry shop. Today, Nazareth is the largest city in the Northern District of Israel and is predominantly Arab citizens of Israel, most of whom are Muslim.
After leaving the village of Nazareth, we headed to the Sea of Galilee is the second lowest elevation lake in the world (after the Dead Sea) and fed by underground springs and the Jordan River. Throughout history the lake has been called many names including Lake Tiberias, Sea of Kinneret (Old Testament reference), Lake of Gennesaret, among others.
Jesus’ ministry occurs largely on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and during the New Testament the lake shoreline was likely populated by contiguous settlements and villages with active trading and boat ferries. It was along the shores of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus recruited four of his apostles: brothers James and John, and brothers Simon and Andrew. It was on the Sea of Galilee that Jesus walked on the water, calmed the storm, and fed the multitude. And, on a beautiful hillside overlooking the water delivered his Sermon on the Mount.
After driving around the beautiful lake, remembering all that had occurred, we arrived at the gates of Capernaum, a fishing village located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. At one time, the village had a population of 1,500 and was home to two synagogues and a house turned into a church by the Byzantines and believed to be the home of Peter.
Capernaum would become the setting for much of Jesus’ public ministry and is mentioned in all four gospels which tell a similar version of the story of Jesus teaching in the synagogue and healing a man who was possessed by an unclean spirit.
After walking through the ancient remains of the synagogue where he taught and healed, we walked the short distance to Simon Peter’s mother-in-law’s house where Jesus healed her of a fever. Capernaum is also the location of where Jesus healed the paralytic who was lowered through the roof by friends.
Leaving Capernaum late in the day we boarded a Galilee Boat onto the Sea of Galilee where Jesus and his disciples left their nets to become fishers of men. Our day concluded at The Scots Hotel situated on the banks of the Sea of Galilee where we enjoyed a peaceful evening.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.