Illustration results for sea of galilee
The whole area of service is a very important one in the Christian life. The importance can be seen in the difference between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea in the Holy Land. The two bodies of water are connected by the Jordan River in a direct north-south line along the Great Rift Valley. Clear, sweet water from underground springs flows into the Sea of Galilee. And the Sea of Galilee flows south into the Jordan. Galilee is a gorgeous, active lake, full of life that has sustained fishermen in the region for millennia. The Dead Sea, by contrast, is a shallow, selfish basin with no outlet. It hoards the water that flows into it. Some water evaporates, leaving behind brackish, clouded water so dense that swimmers bob like corks. The whole sea is dead.
When we as Christians have no outlet of service, we too can become spiritually dead, and stagnant. Instead of our faith being attractive, life giving and fruitful, we become as off-putting as a stagnant pond.
"God honors radical, risk-taking faith.
When arks are built, lives are saved. When soldiers march, Jerichos tumble.
When staffs are raised, seas still open.
When a lunch is shared, thousands are fed.
And when a garment is touched -- whether by the hand of an anemic woman in Galilee or by the prayers of a beggar in Bangladesh -- Jesus stops.
He stops and responds." (Lucado, 69)
The Jesus (Ginnosar) Boat
The second fabulous discovery was made in 1986. There had been a drought in Israel and the Sea of Galilee was at low ebb. Not far from Capernaum, buried in the mud of the lake, was found a wooden boat, which was cleared of mud, enclosed in foam and floated out. To the amazement of scientists, carbon dating revealed that this boat had been in use during the time of Jesus.
The boat was built to last from the wood of other boats. It’s ribbed, mortared and nailed together. At 26 ½ feet long, 7 ½ feet wide and 4 ½ feet high, this boat was plenty large enough to accommodate 13 men. We can’t help but speculate: could this be the very boat that held Jesus and the disciples on their journeys across the lake, the boat from which he taught the crowds, the boat from which he commanded the storm to silence? Could this be the boat? Well, maybe. To have his boat in our possession now might be a greater miracle than his stopping a little old storm. Appropriately, it became known as “The Jesus Boat.”
Becky Pippert tells a wonderful story, an old legend really or three trees that make this very clear for me. “There were once 3 ambitious trees on a mountain who were small and were talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up. The 1st tree said, "When I look at the stars and see them sparkling.. well, when I grow up I want to be made into a treasure chest and have sparkling diamonds and gems within me. The 2nd tree said, "When I look at the water running into the stream I think about the ocean. I want to be a powerful sailing vessel carrying the kings and queens of this world across the water." The 3rd tree said, "When I look into the village and see the busy people I just want to stay here and grow to be the tallest tree in the forest, so when people look at me, I’ll be pointing to God.
Years past and eventually the woodcutters came and felled the trees. The 1st tree was delighted because he was taken to a carpenters shop but then devastated because he wasn’t made into a treasure chest but instead, made into a feeding trough for animals. No diamonds but hay, grain where animals slobber and feed. The 2nd tree was delighted when he was taken to a ship yard, but then devastated because he wasn’t made into an ocean vessel but a fishing boat- no kings and queens, just smelly old dead fish. The 3rd tree was devastated to be cut down at all but even more so when he was simply cut into beams and discarded onto a lumber pile and forgotten.
The years went on & the dreams were shattered & forgotten. Then one day the tree that was a feeding trough saw a young couple come into the stable in Bethlehem and give birth to a baby. They wrapped him in clothes and placed him in that trough, that manger and the tree realized that he held the most precious treasure of all. Sometime later that little fishing boat was carrying a handful of men across ...
John Williams III
"One of the aboriginal tribes of the South Seas has a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood called a "walkabout." A boy coming to puberty is sent into the jungle for six weeks without food, shelter or weapons. During this time, he must test all of the survival skills he has learned during childhood. He must also be creative when he meets the unexpected. Talk about final examination! One mistake and he is dead. If, however, he survives to walk out of the jungle, he returns to a celebration that honors him as a man, a hunter and a warrior". (David L. McKenna. The Communicator’s Commentary Series: Mark. Volume 2. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1982, p. 41). The testing in the wilderness was Jesus’ equivalent of a "walkabout". Jesus went into His "walkabout" filled with the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1). And when Jesus left the wilderness, He returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee (Luke 4:14).
Love does not seek its own, but hurt people become more and more self-seeking and self-contained. In this climate the love of God waxes cold. A natural example of this is the two seas in the Holy Land. The Sea of Galilee freely receives and gives out water. It has an abundance of life, nurturing many different kinds of fish and plant life. The water of the Sea of Galilee is carried by way of the Jordan River to the Dead Sea. But the Dead Sea only takes water in and does not give it out. There are no living plants or fish in it. The living waters from the Sea of Galilee become dead when mixed with the hoarded waters of the Dead Sea. Life cannot be sustained if held onto: It must be given freely.
I came across a poem recently, written by a guy by the name of Ezra Pound. It is called “Ballad of the Goodly Fere”. It is written from the perspective of one of the men who followed Jesus. It makes more sense if you know that “fere” is an Old English word that means ‘mate’. Have we lost the goodliest fere o’ all For the priest and the gallows tree? Aye lover he was of brawny men, O’ ships and the open sea. When they came wi’ a host to take Our Man His smile was good to see, ‘First let these go” quo’ our Goodly Fere, “Or I’ll see ye damned, says He. Aye He sent us out through the crossed high spears And the scorn of His laugh rang free, “Why took ye not me when I walked about Alone in the town?” says He. I ha’ seen Him drive a hundred men Wi’ a bundle o’ cords swung free, When they took the high and holy house For their pawn and treasury… I ha’ seen Him cow a thousand men On the hills of Galilee, They whined as He walked out calm between, Wi’ his eyes like the grey o’ the sea, Like the sea the brooks no voyaging With winds unleashed and free, Like the sea that he cowed at Genseret Wi’ two words spoke’ suddenly. A Master of men was the Goodly Fere, A mate of the wind and sea, If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere They are fools eternally.
"The Sea of Galilee receives but does not keep the River Jordan. For every drop that flows into it, another drop flows out. The giving and receiving go on, equal in measure. The other sea is shrewder, hoarding income jealously. It will not be tempted into any generous impulse. Every drop it gets,...
He had no cornfields or fisheries, but He could spread a table for five thousand and have bread and fish to spare. He walked on no beautiful carpets or velvet rugs, but He walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee and they supported Him.
When He died, few men mourned. But a black crepe was hung over the sun. Though men trembled not for their sins, the earth beneath them shook under the load. All nature honored Him. Sinners alone rejected Him. Corruption could not get hold of His body. The soil that had been reddened with His blood could not claim His dust.
He wrote no book, built no church house. But after nineteen hundred years, He is the one central character of human history, the pivot around which the events of the ages revolve, and the only Regenerator for the Human Race.
Was He merely the Son of Joseph and Mary, who crossed the world’s horizon nineteen hundred years ago. Was it merely human blood that was spilled at Calvary’s Hill for the redemption of sinners? What thinking man can keep from exclaiming: “My Lord and My God!”
“Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’ As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.” (Mark 1:14-18 JB)
Jesus said: “Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.” (Mark 1:18 JB) Simon heard: “Hey boys, how would you like to be my disciples?” Simon thought: “What kind of a rabbi recruits students on the fishing docks!” It was a baited invitation, and it worked: Jesus hooked the sons of Jonah. They were a whale of a catch, indeed: uniquely equipped to man the decks of the S.S. Disciple Ship.
Seriously, there is a profound play on words: the word parable is formed by joining the preposition para (beside) and the verb ballo (cast). Jesus observed Simon and Andrew “casting” (ballo) a net and thought to himself, “Perfect!” Jesus knew that these fishermen would quickly appreciate the similarities between casting a net and crafting a parable.