Located in the northeaster region of Israel and getting its water supply from the Jordan River that runs though it, the Sea of Galilee (known as Yam Kinneret in Hebrew) is Israel 's largest freshwater lake.
The Sea of Galilee , which is technically a lake referred to as a sea merely for historical reasons, has gained geological recognition for being the lowest freshwater lake in the world (lying some 200 meters below sea level).
Renowned for being the beautiful waterfront before which Jesus performed his miracles, the Sea of Galilee has also been acknowledged in the New Testament as a lush and bountiful giver of life; a rich source of fish stock for the Israelites. To this day, the Sea of Galilee supplies Israeli fishermen in the town of Tiberias with enough freshwater fish to be sold commercially.
For all its beauty and splendor and for the rich history that it harbors, the Sea of Galilee is a sight not to be missed by anyone embarking on a tour to the Holy Land, a Christian Tour or a Bible Land tours to Israel.
Sea of Galilee in the New Testament
Situated in a basin below sea level, the Sea of Galilee is surrounded by mountains. When the wind from the mountaintops sets in, the Sea of Galilee mythically churns its serene waters, stirring up a turbulent storm. This geological feature is the basis for the New Testament story of Jesus calming the stormy waters of the Sea of Galilee.
Another of Jesus' miracles which are said to have occurred on the shores of the Sea of Galilee is the infamous Feeding of the Multitude, told in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. Indeed, it is here that Jesus reportedly fed 5000 people (not including women and children the Gospels tell us) with only five loaves of bread and two fish.
Finally, no tour to the Holy Land will be complete without reenacting (or attempting to, at least) the most renowned of Jesus' miracles - walking on water. It is on the waters of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus…
Jesus' Teachings and the Sermon on the Mount Above the Sea of Galilee
Said to have taken place on the Mount of Biatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee , the Sermon on the Mount is of particular importance to the Christian world for its reiteration and elaboration on the Old Testament's Ten Commandments. It is in this sermon that Jesus is said to have delivered the message of the "golden rule" - preaching moderation and restraint in the face of temptation , and of "turning the other cheek" in which Jesus enforces the importance of resisting violence at all costs.
Could it have been the serenity generated by the waters below that permitted Jesus to forsake the famed "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" in favor of "turning the other cheek"? When on a Tour to the Holy Land, a visit to the Sea of Galilee just may be the thing you need to embrace this key tenet of the Christian discipleship.
The Church of Jesus' Miracles on the shore of the Sea of Galilee
During the Byzantine period, a multitude of monasteries, churches and shrines where built on the shores of the Sea of Galilee to commemorate the Ministry of Jesus and the miracles that took here. Tabgha is said to be the site of the Church of the Miracle of Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish and is situated on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Today, the restored Byzantine church is a prime tourist destination, attracting Christians and non-Christians alike. Once in the church, be sure not to overlook its main feature - a mosaic depicting a basket of bread and two fish, situated in front of the alter.