The sea of Galilee is especially well known to Christians because it was the scene of many episodes of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. When Jesus performed the miracle of feeding five thousand people, his ministry was at its height. People began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6.14).
People believed in his power and miracle. Jesus said to his disciples, “Go to the other side of the lake.” He forced them to move to the other side. Sometimes God wants it to seem as though he is not there, so that we can know more about him. It seems as though that was what was happening when Jesus sent the disciples to the other side of the lake.
Important points about the lake
The call of Peter and Andrew. (Matthew 4:18-19)He sat in the boat to teach. (Luke 5:3)Jesus walked on the water. (Add the Bible reference)He fed five thousand people. (Add the Bible reference)He preached the sermon on the mount. (Matthew 5).He taught the Lord’s prayer. (Matthew 5:15; Luke 5:3)
I believe this is an amazing place where Jesus taught many doctrines of Christianity.
Significance of this lake
It is 13 miles long (21km) and 8 miles wide (13 km). It is almost 43 meters deep.
This lake is notorious for its salty and fresh water. It is situated between the mountains. During Jesus’ time, it was famous for its fish. This lake is famous for its unpredictable storms, which means storms can come at any time.
This lake went by different names so that sometimes, we are confused when we read the Bible and it is called by different names. Here are its different names:
Lake of Gennesaret Luke 5.1Lake of Galilee. Mark 1.16Lake of Tiberius. John 6.1
Its Hebrew name is yumkinneret (Numbers 34:11). In Joshua 13:27 it is called the Sea of Kinneret.
A true faith
John describes that the disciples went three or four miles out into the lake. Its means they had traveled about halfway across and now they were in the middle and the time of their trial had begun. Now the was the time for testing their faith. I believe every Christian should be ready for the testing of their faith. Since I am living in Pakistan, I have to practice this daily. While they were in middle, suddenly storms started and they were terrified. The wind was blowing against them. Remember, the winds of world are always blowing against Christian faith when we are in fear and situation is against us like it was for these disciples. Be ready in such situation. There is only one entity that can hold on to you and comfort you. His name is Jesus. On this occasion, Jesus comforted them. Jesus came to them walking on the water at close to four o’clock in the morning. That is, it was still dark between three to six in the morning and this miracle is beyond the human comprehension. No one can imagine that a man can walk on the water. By walking on the water Jesus proved his divinity and that he has the power over the nature. The disciples did not have this revelation about Christ before. When you are in the middle of some trouble, be ready. God is going to bring his revelation on you and you will know more about him. Do not have fear and disappointment.
Action of Peter
Peter looked very excited to see Jesus and said, “Lord, order me to walk on water and come to you.” He seemed very emotional, and his desire was to be close to Christ. Although the danger was there and he could have drown, he was ready to take this risk for Christ. Peter wanted to follow the Christ so he left the comfort zone of the boat and moved toward the Christ. Always keep your eyes on Christ during your temptation. The question is why Peter did this but the other eleven were not ready to leave the boat. Maybe they were scared, or they felt safe in the boat. I personally feel that after Peter’s action, they will be ashamed and ask, “Why did we not do that?” and then repent. Sometimes in life, we miss many opportunities to make our relationship strong with Christ. We miss the opportunity in our trial and do not take the risk like Peter. This kind risk of faith can make you the gold in the eyes of Jesus. Many times, we repent like the eleven, but today I encourage you, if you have fear in your life and you are facing trials, fix your eyes on Christ. Moved toward him and say to him, “O, Lord, save me!” He is ready to hold your hand, like he held Peter’s. As he rescued Peter, he is ready to rescue you. Amen
Pastor Barkat is a graduate of Punjab University. After receiving a call to ministry in 1999 he attended Gujranwala Theological Seminary, graduating in 2003 with a Master of Divinity (His thesis covered a Biblical model of house churches.) Upon graduating he started pastoral ministry with the Anglican Church and was ordained in 2004, working within that church in different positions until mid 2015 when he got the opportunity for a short training program on Pneumatology from South Korea. Suneel currently is a visiting teacher in an evangelical Bible College empowered by Korean Mission in Pakistan, as well as doing independent teaching and preaching ministry. He has established many Bible study groups and I have passion to preach in remote areas of Pakistan.