Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sea of Galilee~Multiplication Church~Day Six~Part 2

Welcome to Galilee!

This land is stunning. True beauty abounds in this mountainous region of Northeastern Israel. The Sea, though small, is pristine and largely unsettled, making it easy to picture Jesus and his friends walking (or sailing) from town to town.

THIS is where most of the "action" took place, friends!
THIS is where Jesus called a bunch of fishermen to be "fishers of men." Matt 3: 19
THIS is where He went "teaching...preaching...and healing every disease and sickness..." Matt 3: 23
THIS is where Jesus walked on water in Matthew 14!
THIS is where Jesus fed the 5,000 of Matt 14 AND the 4,000 of Matt 15!
THIS is where He gave the infamous Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5-7!
THIS is where His disciples started to realize that this man, Jesus, wasn't like ANY other man. In Matthew 8, when He calmed the storm and the disciples, skilled fishermen, were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" Matt 8: 27 where that happened!

You're about to see a lot of churches, but know that every church you see represents more than some random church. These are the very places that the events I'm going to explain to you ACTUALLY HAPPENED!

Jesus had just heard that the man that baptized Him, John the Baptist, had been beheaded. Aside from that special event that Jesus shared with John the Baptist, John was actually Jesus' cousin. You can imagine hearing the news that someone special in your life had just had their head cut off! What horrible news! (Matt 14: 1,2) Jesus went by boat to spend some alone time, but by this time in ministry, crowds were following Him everywhere! Even though He probably just wanted to be alone, when He landed, he "saw a large crowd, [and] had compassion on them and healed their sick" (Matt 14: 14).

Eventually, his disciples came up to Him and basically said, "Hey, man! It's getting late. We're out in the middle of nowhere. We need to send these people away so they can make it home. They haven't even eaten dinner yet!" Jesus' reply? "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." (Matt 14: 16-emphasis mine)
Can you imagine?

What would be going through YOUR mind?
...because MY mind would have been thinking THIS:
"YEAH...about that...I, um...don't have ANY"

But their reply went like THIS:
"We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish." Matt 14: 17

Jesus directed the people to sit down, where He took the fish and the bread, gave thanks, and broke the bread. The disciples distributed the food to everyone. Scripture tells us "they all ate and were satisfied." Matt 14: 20

This happened HERE, at the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, or Multiplication Church, for short.

Remember, at the time, there was NO CHURCH HERE! But, this rock is believed to be the rock upon which Jesus did the breaking of the bread and the multiplying of the fish. This rock sure doesn't look like a kitchen equipped to feed 5,000 hungry men at once, does it?!

With beautiful, elegant stained glass windows, this church was a simple but beautiful place to worship.

Parts of the floor were still covered with this beautiful Byzantine mozaic tile work depicting birds that may have been native to Galilee.

This truly is a miraculous place to be. Remember, "They all ate and were satisfied and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over." Matt 14: 20

Did you GET THAT, folks?
They ENDED...
with MORE FOOD...
than they STARTED WITH!!!
with five loaves of bread...

If only words could describe accurately the measure of this miracle!
Our God is SO WILD!

Our next stop in Galilee was a breezy three minute drive to:
Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter, or Mensa Christi

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