Friday, June 3 2011
The Ships Of Galilee
While the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a freshwater lake through which The Jordan River flows) were not far away, The Messiah lived at Nazareth, an inland town of Galilee, until about age 30. As such, He would not have had daily exposure to boats or ships. That changed however when He moved to Capernaum, which is located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee - a move that also coincided with the time of the beginning of His public ministry, and further, the fulfillment of the prophecies of both.
"4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum [see also Why Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth And Capernaum?], which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 4:15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
It was immediately after that, that He began calling the twelve - the first four of which were fishermen of the Sea of Galilee.
"4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me [see also Friends Of Jesus], and I will make you fishers of men. 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men"
It was therefore natural and inevitable that the ministry of "the prophet of Galilee" (see the Fact Finder question below) would involve fishing boats ("ships" in the KJV) and those who worked and travelled by means of them.
One of the first miracles that the twelve saw the Son of God do involved the calming of a stormy sea.
"8:23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
The boats were sometimes used as a place from which the Messiah taught crowds of people. It had two practical purposes; sound usually carries well over water (it's not absorbed or reflected by objects before it reaches those who are listening) and the shoreline kept Him from being thronged i.e. "great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship."
"13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
They also used their working boats for transportation to other ports or places along the lake - a means that served the Messiah well. It was during one of those crossings that the famous walking on water happened.
"14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
One of those port towns along the Sea of Galilee was Magdala - the home town of the first witness of the resurrection, Mary of Magdala (see True Witnesses Of The Resurrection).
"15:39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala." (Matthew 15:39 KJV)
One of the "Gospel" books was written by a fisherman, John. He recorded how the resurrected Messiah appeared to them on the sea, and on the boats, that had been the scene of much of His ministry.
"21:1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself. 21:2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
Fact Finder: Why was the Messiah called "the prophet of Galilee"?
This Day In History, June 3
350: Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaimed himself Emperor of Rome.
1083: Henry IV of Germany attacked Rome and captured St. Peter's Cathedral (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1098: During the First Crusade, the Crusaders took Antioch after a five-month siege.
1539: Hernando De Soto claimed what later became known as "Florida" for Spain.
1665: James Stuart, Duke of York (later King James II of England) defeated the Dutch fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.
1769: Captain James Cook, a year into his circumnavigation of the world, observed the transit of Venus over the sun.
1778: The first issue of The Montreal Gazette was published.
1818: The last of the Maratha Wars between the British and the Maratha Confederacy in India ended, securing British supremacy in India.
1841: Nicolas Appert died at age 91, The French chef and distiller, known as "the father of canning," invented the method of preserving food by enclosing it in hermetically sealed containers.
1885: The last battle fought in Canadian territory: Cree against the North West Mounted Police (later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police).
1934: Dr. Frederick Banting of Toronto, co-discoverer of insulin, was knighted by King George V.
1937: The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated as King Edward VIII of England, married Wallis Simpson in France. He gave up the crown to marry her, the first voluntary abdication in 1,000 years. His brother became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II.
1940: During the Second World War, the German Luftwaffe (air force) bombed Paris.
1989: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, revolutionary leader of Iran, died at age 89.
1989: China's crackdown on pro-democracy dissidents protesting in Tiananmen Square began.
1991: Mount Unzen erupted in Japan; 43 people were killed 43 people, all either scientists or journalists.