The Galilee and Water:
In the Word, water is mentioned 634 times in the Bible! Of these, some refer to ‘living water,’ some speak of passing over ‘troubled waters,’ and still, some reference physical water… yet, one of the most well-known physical waters mentioned in the Word is the Sea of Galilee. The place where many of Jesus’ disciples were recruited, where He calmed the storm, and walked upon the water!
Covering approximately 64 square miles, the Sea of Galilee—less commonly referred to as the Lake of Tiberius—is, in natural terms, a decent sized lake… one teaming with life in a land that would otherwise be deserted in nature.
At its deepest, it is under 200 feet; it is approximately 13 miles long and 7-8 miles wide; and within that space reside over a dozen species of fish. Yet, perhaps most surprising of all, it is close to 700 feet below sea level—making it the lowest fresh body of water in the world!
The main source of water to the Sea of Galilee comes from the Jordan River. Interestingly, the Jordan River also flows into the Dead Sea—the lowest point in the world; a body of salt water with virtually no life. The contrast between fresh water and salt, of water teeming with life and water that is virtually devoid of life, is unique… considering that the Jordan River connects both bodies of water, and feeds them.
The Sea of Galilee in Scripture:
The Sea of Galilee and region of the Galilee are mentioned in the Word 73 times by name. Of those, 82% are found in the New Testament and largely revolve around Jesus’ life. Yet, the importance of the Galilee in both the Old and New Testaments largely remain the same.
Many Gentile Believers view the Galilee as being strictly ‘theirs,’ after all, it is written in Isaiah 9:1, ‘…in Galilee of the Gentiles.’ Yet, the Galilee area was, and is, part of the promised land of the Jewish people—part of the irrevocable inheritance of our brothers and sisters—the Jews. Although, that is not to say we Gentiles do not have a connection with the land—for we, having been grafted-in, are allowed to be a part of God’s promises, as the prophet Isaiah wrote… thereby, having a mutual connection with the land.
Isaiah, along with other prophets of old, prophesied of the time of Jesus, when the Gentile people would—through the Romans—have taken over much of the land before eventually, through the coming of the Messiah, being brought into covenant with the Jewish God, the I AM—eventually creating one people of God from the two, and restoring the land of Israel.
“For unto us a Child is born,
unto us a Son is given;
and the government will be upon His shoulder.
and His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
there will be no end,
upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
to order it and establish it with judgment and justice
from that time forward, even forever…” —Isaiah 9:6-7
In the New Testament, the Galilee and the Sea of Galilee are usually mentioned in reference to the life of Jesus. In fact, despite many months spent teaching in the Galilee as an adult, Jesus was nearly a Galilean in His youth… only the prompting of God to His earthly ‘father’ caused Jesus to grow up as a Nazarene instead of a Galilean—to save His life and fulfill the Word of the prophets (Matthew 2).
When the time was right, Jesus traveled from the Galilee to where John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan River. There, in the waters between the Galilee and Dead Sea, He was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3).
Afterwards, Jesus returned to the Galilee to fulfill prophecy and call the first of His disciples—Simon-Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), and John.
“Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”—Matthew 4:19
Yet, Jesus did not merely gather disciples in Galilee… He preached, taught, healed, calmed the waves, walked upon the water, and did a great many miracles—such as the multiplication of loaves and fishes.
Still, Jesus’ life before the cross was not the end of His relationship with us, His disciples, or the Galilee. He returned to us on earth, to His disciples, and to the Galilee… and it was at the Galilee that He brought His disciples back into the fold, preparing them for their commission and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
“I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.’”—Matthew 26:31-32
“…go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”—Matthew 28:7
How Can We Connect with the Places Jesus Walked?
Today, Israel is a nation once more, flourishing even in the desert… and the places Jesus walked, well, they are protected by Israel—and our Jewish brothers and sisters. Yet, few of us will ever have the opportunity to travel to Israel, let alone visit every location mentioned in the Word and testimonies of Jesus… but there are ways that we can come to know the land.
- Study the Word
- Research the Land
- Watch Videos
- Examine Pictures
- Explore the History
- Give Back to the Land
While these are only a few ways we can come to know the places Jesus traversed, they all allow a unique connection to the land.
At My Olive Tree we are connected directly to the land of Israel. From the fertile City of Jerusalem to the desert lands, we are—through the sponsorship of people like YOU—planting fruiting trees, grapes, wheat, and barley all over Israel, bringing life to the land where Jesus walked and shall reign. Through your support, we are not only preparing the land for the return of Messiah, we are bringing jobs and beauty for generations to come as a living testimony to our Jewish brothers and sisters, AND we are fulfilling biblical prophecy—causing the land to blossom.
“‘On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ says the Lord who does this thing.
“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,’ says the Lord your God.”—Amos 9:11-15