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Section 41

Call of the four

[The text in Section 44b could also be placed in this section, but it has significant differences to the other accounts]

By the Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum

Matthew 4:18-22Mark 1:16-20
18And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. 16Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. 19And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

Notes

Capernaum

Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ ministry, is no longer inhabited. Although abandoned after the Islamic conquest of the seventh century, the earthquake of 747 A.D. left the town desolate, and only remains are left. It was once a thriving town on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. As you pass the vibrant colors of the bougainvillea, eucalyptus and palm trees at the entrance, you are reminded of the fertility of the soil and the mild climate.

Only part of the city lies within the walls of the Franciscan compound. To the east of the walls is another part of the city owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. Most of the city in which Jesus ministered lies unexcavated, eastward along the shore and northward toward the hills. You can see black basalt stones in the fields, indicating the remains of buildings below the soil. This lovely village, with its white limestone synagogue and black basalt houses, gives evidence of its prosperity over several centuries.

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is a beautiful blue freshwater lake. Because it is shaped like a harp, it is called Yam Kinneret (Numbers 34:11) in Hebrew, from the word kinnor, which means “harp.” It was also known as the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1) after the large city, built by Herod Antipas, which is located on its shores. It was also called Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1)

The Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River, which brings water from the melting snows of Mount Hermon to the north. Additional water comes from the numerous springs around the lake, many of which are hot springs. The hot water from these springs allows even tropical fish to thrive. The very high rate of evaporation from the lake raises the humidity to an average of 65% in the area over and around the lake; such an environment also enables tropical plants and fruit to grow.

The lake is now 12.5 miles long and 7 miles wide, with a circumference of 32 miles. It may have been slightly longer in Jesus’ time, since the lake may have receded somewhat in the north near Bethsaida. The surface of the lake is about 700 feet below sea level.

Photos

Videos

Video 19: Four Transitions (Capernaum)

Video 21: Fishers of Men (Sea of Galilee)

Video 22: Fishing Trips (Capernaum)

By the Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum & -