The Sea of Galilee has changed little since Jesus walked along its shoreline to recruit four fishermen to become his first disciples.
The Sea of Galilee is shaped like a heart, set among hills, and is one of the lowest lying bodies of water on earth, sitting about 210 meters below sea level.
The Sea of Galilee serves as Israel’s main water reservoir and is fed by the Jordan River.
Jesus turned Capernaum, a fishing town, into the centre of his ministry, and used the lake and its boats and shores to spread the Good News. Jesus walked on the water of the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus performed miracles on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was on the lake’s northwestern shore, between Tabgha and Capernaum, where he delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Tabgha is also the site where Jesus provided food for 5,000 people from just fives loaves of bread and two fish. Across the lake, he performed a second miraculous feeding. The apostles’ fishing nets were empty all night. After daybreak, Jesus told the apostles where they could find a miraculous catch.
The Heptapegon fishing ground slightly off from Tabgha was also the site where Jesus made his memorable post-Resurrection appearance.
The slope at the bottom of the Mount of Beautitudes is called Sower’s Cover or Bay of the Parables. This hill’s slope forms an ampitheatre that is reminiscent of a Rom theater. According to acoustical researches, a number as great as 7,000 people could hear one person speaking from a boat in the bay. Pilgrims who have tested the acoustics in a variety of way, including reading from the Gospel, have marveled at the distance to which the voice carries.
This site also was a good setting for a sower and his seeds. The black earth is fertile and has plenty of thistles and thorns.
Because the Sea of Galilee lies low in the Great Rift Valley and is surrounded on all sides by hills, it’s common for the Sea of Galilee to experience sudden turbulence. Jesus calmed some of these storms, which were hazardous to Galilee fishermen.
There were 27 species of fish in the lake, but the best-known was nicknamed “St. Peter’s Fish,” thought it was technically a tilapia called musht.
It received its name from a story in the Gospel. Jesus told Peter to go fishing: “Go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me” (Matthew 17:24-27).
Musht are mouthbrooders, meaning the female holds her eggs until they hatch. Some disagree that the fish was a musht, but argue it was instead a barbel.
Several stories from the Scripture reference the Sea of Galilee,
including Matthew 4:18-22, Matthew 9:9, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:1-11, Mark 4:35-41, Matthew 8:23-27, Luke 8:22-25, Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, Matthew 5:1-7, 28, Mark 4:1-9, Matthew 14:13-21, Matthew 15:32-39, Mark 6:30-44, Mark 8:1-9, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-14, and Matthew 17:24-27.
The Sea of Galilee is a magical place, but the north part of Israel have a lot more to offer, Mount Carmel for example is one of those places.