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The City of Andrew and Peter
by Wayne Blank
"Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter"
Bethsaida was a fishing village (Bethsaida means house of fishing) on the shore of the Sea of Galilee about 2 miles / 3 kilometers east of Capernaum. It was the home town of Peter, Andrew and Philip. Ironically, according to Christ's own words, Peter's home town of Bethsaida didn't accept the Christ any more than the Christ's own home town (or towns, the same can be said for them all - see the Fact Finder question below) themselves did.
"The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (John 1:43-45 RSV)
Two of the Messiah's most well-known miracles were done near Bethsaida:
"And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to Him a blind man, and begged Him to touch him. And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when He had spit on his eyes and laid His hands upon him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men; but they look like trees, walking." Then again He laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly." (Mark 8:22-25 RSV)
As quoted in the opening paragraph, Jesus Christ was well-familiar with the people of Bethsaida, and they of Him. They heard the Truth, and rejected it. They made a very tragic mistake for themselves:
"Woe to you, Chorazin! woe to you, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you." (Luke 10:8-14 RSV)
Fact Finder: (a) Was the reason that Jesus Christ went to live in Capernaum because the people of His home town, Nazareth, not only rejected Him, but actually tried to kill Him by throwing Him over a cliff? (b) Did the people of Capernaum also reject Him?