Reflection on the Sea of Galilee
Reflection on the Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee commonly called Lake Kinneret or the Sea of Tiberius is a small fresh water lake located in Northern Israel. The Sea of Galilee has a span of 148km2 and is 20m deep (Notley, 2009). The present Sea of Galilee is calm and beautiful but the ancient perspective during the time of Jesus offers a different opinion. The sea derives its beauty from the green springs among the hills during the wet season. The sea experiences blizzard just like in the day of Jesus as elaborated in the book of Matthew. The ancient rabbis’ claim that among the seven seas the Lord created the Sea of Galilee is his enchantment.
The towns around the sea include Carpenum, Bethsaida, Madala, Gennesaret, and Decapolis. Capernaum was the residence town of Jesus (Wolff, 2012). Most stories of Jesus took place in this area. This area was a major town and had a large synagogue that Jesus explained the oracle of Isaiah to the mass. This place was quarters to customhouse where the tax collectors worked. Matthew was such a tax collector who Jesus called to join as a disciple. Archeological research provides that some of the disciples of Jesus hailed from the area of Bethsaida. This was the north end of the Sea where River Jordan enters. This area attracted fishing activity and using the fish Jesus fed the 5000 people as detail in the book of Luke (Wolff, 2012).
The Sea derives the name Tiberius due to the western region of the Sea. This place derives its name after the emperor of the time Tiberius. Hot mineral springs from the sea acted as a health spa for the inhabitants at that time. The sick visited the hot mineral springs for cure or they sought the Rabbis of Capernaum. In this area, Jesus performed most of his miracles during his ministry. Gennesaret was a northwestern corner of the Sea. This area had profuse water supply coupled with fertile soil that enable the cultivation of vegetables and fruits. The Eastern side of the Sea is known as Decapolis in the ancient Jewish community. This place was in captive by roman armies who practiced Hellenistic doctrines (Notley, 2009). Archeologists provide that this area be home to the Gentiles who were driven off the Promised Land. In this region, there was the practice of Idol worship, naked athletic games and gladiator contests took place.
The book of Mark presents the story of Jesus and the disciples rowing to Decapolis. In this area, one pagan who was Jesus miraculously healed demon processed. This Sea provides freshwater to the inhabitants and is the largest in the country (Nof & Paldor, 2006). The Gospel of the bible state that Jesus the son of God spent most of his short time on earth near the Sea of Galilee. Archeological research provides that the sea can generate layers of ice during the cold season. These layers of ice may provide the origin of the story that Jesus walked on the water. The Gospel according to Mark provides that by the sea Jesus evaluated the disciples, calmed the storm as they were crossing with the disciples, and healed the crowds. John in the book of revelation offers that the sea has threats of aliens and beasts. The sea is a dangerous place where Jonah was thrown when he went against Gods wishes. John depicts the sea having symbolic of evil that only God would control.
The book of Genesis provides that in the watery chaos God had power to control and bring order in the sea. The sea becomes the Lords tool for judgment when the flooding waters deluge all who oppose Gods work (Nof & Paldor, 2006). The sea harbors a dragon called Leviathan that symbolizes the pagan nations that oppose Israel. Daniel in the Old Testament of the bible elaborates beasts in the sea that terrorize the Israelites that only God has power to control and bring order in the sea. In the book of Daniel, people that oppose God have a depiction of roaring in the sea. Luke in the New Testament depicts sea as the dwelling to demons and evil spirits that the people in the ancient Jewish tradition can attest.
During the time of Jesus, the demons ran to a herd of pigs that ran into the sea. John in the book of revelation states that Satan in the future will rise from the sea. Jesus symbolically grants that Capernaum just like Sodom and Gomorrah will fall in the depths of the sea. This is because the sea is the abode to evil. The miracle that Jesus performed demonstrates his power over the forces of nature. The Gospel according to Mark affirms that Jesus verified his power over the sea by walking on the water. The book of Luke and Matthew attest to the fact that Jesus calmed the storm of the sea and even empowered the disciples to walk on the Sea. One of the disciples called Peter had the will to walk on the water but was of little faith compared to Jesus. In light of this, the disciples reacted in astonishment by the immense power Jesus had over the evil forces of nature. God can control the elements of nature as well as the abode of demons and is subject to worship.
Malbon, E. (1984).The Jesus of Mark and the Sea of Galilee. Journal of Biblical Literature, 103(3), 363
Nof, D., McKeague, I., & Paldor, N. (2006). Is There a Paleolimnological Explanation for ‘Walking on Water’ in the Sea of Galilee? Journal of Palelimnology, 35(3), 417-439.
Notley, R. (2009).The Sea of Galilee: Development of an Early Christian Toponym. Journal of Biblical Literature, 128(1), 183-188.
Wolff, S. R. (2012). Bethsaida: A City by the North Shore of the Sea of Galilee,Volume 4. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, (368), 116-118.