Section 65

Crossing the lake and calming the storm

On the Sea of Galilee

Matthew 8:18, 23-27Mark 4:35-41Luke 8:22-25
18Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. 35And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 22Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
23And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 36And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38aJesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. 23But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
25And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 38bThe disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25a“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
27But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! 41And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? 25bIn fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”


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.



On the Sea of Galilee