Day Twenty-one March 21, 2012

March 24, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Capernaum

Started my day off in Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a fresh water lake).  Matthew 4:13 tells the Capernaum was the home of Jesus.  Peter house was here also.  You can see a church that was built over Peter's house

 

A statue of Peter greets you as you enter this very important biblical town.  You can see him holding the "Key" to the church

 

Luke 4:31–44 tells that  Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum on Sabbath. Jesus also healed a man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and healed a fever in Simon Peter's mother-in-law. According to Luke 7:1–10, it is also the place where a Roman Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant.

The sign reads - The late fourth Century A.D. "White Synagogue" is Built upon the remains of the "Synagogue of Jesus" .  You can see the Black basalt stone which was the foundation of Jesus' synagogue.

 

The ancient synagogue has two inscriptions, one in Greek and the other in Aramaic, that remember the benefactors that helped in the construction of the building.

 

The town is cited in the Gospel of Luke where it was reported to have been the home of the apostles Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John, as well as the tax collector Matthew.

This is an olive press from the time of Christ

 

Capernaum is also mentioned in Mark 2:1, it is the location of the famous healing of the paralytic lowered through the roof to reach Jesus.

These two depictions in stone are very fascinating.  This first one is an ionic temple on wheels and it may represent the ark of the covenant

 

The star of David was one of the ornamentations found on the synagogue.

 

 

Tabgha

According to chapter 14 of Matthew’s Gospel, the miraculous feeding came after Jesus learnt that Herod Antipas had beheaded his cousin, John the Baptist.

Jesus “withdrew in a boat . . . to a deserted place by himself”. Crowds followed and he had compassion on them, curing their sick.

In the evening he told the multitude — 5000 men, plus women and children — to sit on the grass. Then he took five loaves and two fish, “looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves . . . and the disciples gave them to the crowds”. After they had eaten, the leftovers filled 12 baskets.

The modern Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes stands on the site of a 4th-century church, displaying Byzantine mosaic decorations that are among the most elegantly executed in the Holy Land.

Tabgha is also remembered for Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples after his Resurrection, when he tested and commissioned St Peter as leader of his Church.

 

 

But the best-known mosaic, on the floor near the altar, refers to the miracle the church commemorates. It shows a basket of loaves flanked by two Galilee mullet.

Beneath the altar is the rock on which it is believed Jesus placed the loaves and fish when he blessed them.

 

 

Church of the Primacy of St Peter

Nearby, on the Tabgha beach, stands the Church of the Primacy of St Peter. This squat building of black basalt, built in 1934, is where Jesus is believed to have made his third appearance to his disciples after his Resurrection.

As the event is described in the 21st chapter of St John, Peter and six other disciples had been fishing all night without catching anything. Just after daybreak Jesus stood on the beach, though they did not recognise him.

Jesus told the disciples to cast their net on the right side of the boat and the net filled with 153 fish. When the disciples dragged the net ashore, they found that Jesus had cooked them breakfast on a charcoal fire.

 

The rock incorporated in the church floor is traditionally believed to be the place where Jesus prepared breakfast. It was known to medieval pilgrims as Mensa Christ (the table of Christ).

 

After breakfast, Jesus challenged Peter three times with the question: “Do you love me?” Peter’s positive response to this three-fold challenge cancelled out his three-fold denial of Jesus the night before his crucifixion.

Then Jesus gave Peter a three-fold commission: “Feed my lambs . . . . Tend my sheep . . . Feed my sheep.” And he also indicated that Peter would die by martyrdom. After this event Peter’s primacy as head of the apostles was recognised.

 

Beside the church, in a garden setting, is an area designed for group worship. Between this and the lake stands a modern bronze statue of Jesus symbolically commissioning Peter with his shepherd’s crook.


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