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How would you describe your own situation in life today?
Where would you expect to meet Jesus today?
Jesus Comes to the Sea of Galilee
He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. (Luke 4:31–32)
In about the year 30 AD Jesus began his active ministry in the northern district of Galilee. Galilee was a productive agricultural region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee. The Jewish population in Galilee lived on the borders close to Phoenician and Canaanite cities to the north and west, and Greek-speaking cities to the southeast.
In Jesus’s time Galilee was ruled by Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. Herod and his aristocratic friends owned large agricultural estates built on land taken from local families. The great majority of the population lived on whatever they could earn as day laborers on the great estates.
Jesus knew that in order to effectively preach God’s word, he would need the help of a team. The aristocracy and the professional scribes had little interest in the teachings of an itinerant preacher. The people in the farm villages, as day laborers for the large estates who were lucky to earn their daily bread, could not leave their homes and responsibilities. So Jesus went to the villages by the Sea of Galilee to preach and to gather his team.
Jesus Approaches the Sea
The Sea of Galilee is a body of freshwater approximately eight miles wide and thirteen miles long. It is located deep in the Great Rift Valley of the river Jordan, 685 feet below sea level. Nestled as it is deep in the valley and enclosed by hills, violent storms can develop very quickly. Anyone crossing the sea in a boat had to be vigilant watching the weather. Fishermen were constantly on the alert. The storms described in the Gospels indicate how quickly they can come over the waters (Mark 4:36–40; 6:47–51).
In Jesus’s time there was a thriving fishing industry on the Sea of Galilee. It was highly competitive, with more than two hundred boats fishing the same area, hoping for the big catch. The tax man would take forty to sixty percent of the catch. After the tax was paid, the fisherman had to make enough to support his family. It was from among the rugged fishermen who manned these boats that Jesus called his first disciples.
After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them. (Luke 4:38–39)
Soon after he arrived in Capernaum, Jesus became friends with Peter. They probably met at the weekly synagogue service, after which Peter offered the hospitality of his home. When they reached Peter’s home, they discovered that his mother-in-law was ill with a high fever. Jesus cured her, and she served them.
Peter’s generous act of hospitality marked the beginning of his new life.
Take a moment to reflect on the times you have offered hospitality to others. Have there been times when what you received in return was far more than you expected or hoped for?
Lord Jesus, help me to be aware of the opportunities to offer hospitality to others. Help me to realize that in welcoming them, I am welcoming you.
by James Campbell
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Today millions of faithful men serve their families, their churches, their parishes and communities in quiet ways. They are the rock-solid foundation on which community life is built. In so many ways these men can be taken for granted and they can feel unfulfilled in their desire to grow in a closer personal relationship with God and others.
This series of thirty meditations is offered as a way to explore what it means to become the man God intended you to be. Our guide will be the Apostle Peter. Jesus saw in Peter the man who was strong and great enough to lead his fledgling community. Jesus called Peter from his daily work to refocus him for God and others. God is also calling men today in the midst of their labors to discover how they can become more than they ever imagined.
Back to Every Man's Journey (Paperback)
Author description goes here...
Product Type Media Books
Author James Campbell
Publisher Beacon Publishing
Number of Pages 144
Book Format Paperback
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