In the New King James Version of the Word, water is mentioned 634 times! While not all of these reference physical waters—many being ‘living water,’ ‘troubled waters,’ and the like—it is a physical body of water that we will focus on today… The place where many of Jesus’ disciples were recruited, where He calmed the storm, and walked upon the waters! The Sea of Galilee…
The Galilee, or Sea of Galilee—referenced in Israel as Yam Kinneret, and elsewhere, but less commonly as the Lake of Tiberius—is, in natural terms, a decent sized lake, covering approximately 64 square miles. And while teaming with life, it resides in a land that without its waters, would otherwise be desert-esc in nature…
It is approximately 13 miles long, 7 to 8 miles wide and at its deepest, is well under 200 feet—and within that space reside over a dozen species of fish. Yet, perhaps most surprising of all, it is close to 700 feet below sea level—making it the lowest fresh body of water in the world!
The main source of water for the Sea of Galilee comes from the Jordan River, yet, interestingly, the Jordan River also flows into the Dead Sea—a body of salt water with virtually no life at the lowest point in the world.
The Galilee in Scripture:
The Sea of Galilee and region of the Galilee are mentioned in the Word 73 times by name. Of those, 82 percent are found in the New Testament and largely revolve around Jesus’ life. Yet, the importance of the Galilee in both the Old and New Testaments largely remain the same.
Many Gentile believers view the Galilee as being strictly ‘theirs.’ After all, it is written in Isaiah 9:1, ‘…in Galilee of the Gentiles.’ Yet, the Galilee area was, and is, part of the promised land of the Jewish people… part of the irrevocable inheritance of our brothers and sisters—the Jews. Yet, that is not to say we Gentiles do not have a connection with the land. For we, having been grafted-in, are allowed to be a part of God’s promises as the prophet Isaiah foretold, thus Jew and Gentile having a mutual connection with the land… and with the waters of the Galilee.
Isaiah prophesied—as did other prophets of old—of a time when Jew and Gentile would come together; of a time when the waters of the Galilee, along with all the Promised Land, might have importance to both. When Jesus, our Messiah, would prepare the way for the two to become one, sharing in the promises of God and restoring the land of Israel…
…in Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light…
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;
and the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end,
upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
to order it and establish it with judgment and justice
from that time forward, even forever…”—Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7
In the New Testament, the Galilee and Sea of Galilee are usually mentioned in reference to the life of Jesus. In fact, despite many months spent teaching in the Galilee as an adult, Jesus was nearly a Galilean in His youth. It was only by the prompting of God to His earthly ‘father,’ Joseph, that caused Jesus to grow up as a Nazarene instead of a Galilean—to save His life, and to fulfill the Word of the prophets (see Matthew 2).
When Jesus was grown and preparing to enter into teaching, He traveled from the Galilee to where John the Baptist—Yochanan the Immerser—was immersing people in the Jordan River. It was there, in the waters between the Galilee and Dead Sea that He was immersed by John (see Matthew 3).
Yet, after this, Jesus returned to the Galilee to fulfill prophecy and call the first of His disciples—Simon-Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee) and John. “Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”—Matthew 4:19
Yet, Jesus did not merely gather disciples in Galilee… He preached, taught, healed, calmed the waves, walked upon the water, and did a great many miracles—such as the multiplication of loaves and fish.
However, Jesus’ life before the cross was not the end of His relationship with us, His disciples, or the Galilee. For he returned to us on earth, to His disciples, and to the Galilee… and it was at the Galilee that He brought His disciples back into the fold, preparing them for their commission and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: “I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.’”—Matthew 26:31-32
“…go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”—Matthew 28:7
Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection was for the restoration of us to Himself, and of the gifts we had given away in the Garden.
Additionally, He gave to us the Holy Spirit as a guide, but further still, He gave us LIVING WATER… which is why from birth to death, and even on to the days after His resurrection, Jesus showed to us its importance through the natural.
Through the water of His birth, the water of His immersion, the water of the Galilee, and even, the water that poured from His side when pierced.
Jesus was and is the embodiment of the living water of God!
How Can We Connect with the Places Where Jesus Walked?
Today, Israel is a nation once more, flourishing even in the desert. And the places where Jesus walked? Well, they are protected by Israel—and our Jewish brothers and sisters. Yet, few of us will ever have the opportunity to travel to Israel, let alone visit every location mentioned in the Word and testimonies of Jesus… but there are ways that we can come to know the land.
While these are only a few ways we can come to know the places Jesus traversed, they all allow a unique connection to the land.
At Curt Landry Ministries we are connected directly to the land of Israel. From the fertile city of Jerusalem to the desert lands, we are, through the support of our Covenant Partners and sponsors, giving to Holocaust survivors, human trafficking victims, IDF soldiers, and others… Even planting olive trees—bringing life to the land where Jesus walked and shall reign.
Via the support of people like YOU we are not only preparing the land for the return of Messiah, we are bringing jobs and beauty for generations to come as a living testimony to our Jewish brothers and sisters, AND we are fulfilling biblical prophecy… causing the land and people to blossom.
‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord,
‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
and the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
the mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
and all the hills shall flow with it.
I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
I will plant them in their land,
and no longer shall they be pulled up
from the land I have given them,’
says the Lord your God.”—Amos 9:13-15