Instagram Jesus Week 7: Devotional Day 7
Does the geographic location in the Bible matter?
So what is the significance of Galilee anyway? If you are anything like me, you love maps and ancient history.
Galilee is like a county or province, and many cities are a part of it. In the time of Jesus, all of Palestine was divided into three provinces: Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. Galilee was the scene of the greater parts of Jesus’ private life and his public ministry. The first three Gospels spend ample time in Galilee.
This region shows up a lot in the Old Testament as well. It was located in Canaan. It was the area Solomon gave to Hiram, king of Tyre, as payment for timber from Lebanon to Jerusalem (Joshua 20:7; 1 Kings 9:11). It is also where the greatest prophet Elijah was from. We get scenes of Mount Carmel in the famous story of the showdown between Elijah and King Ahab in 1 Kings 18. We see the ancient territories of Issachar, Zebulun, Asher and Naphtali, (Joshua 19) all located in what we know as Galilee. The river Jordan located in this region is famous on so many levels. This was where the second generation of the children of Israel crossed into the Promised Land and where John the Baptist camped out in his ministry. This is where Jesus was baptized.
The Sea of Galilee (also known as the Sea of Chinneroth in the Old Testament) shows up first in Numbers 34. This place on the map holds so much importance. The Sea of Galilee is where Jesus calls several disciples to become fishers of men, including Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Jesus also called Matthew the tax collector from Capernaum located on the northwest coast of the sea. The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would come from the region of Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2,6). Let me challenge you to consider the significance of this place.
When you come to geographic locations in your Bible, do you try to pronounce them and give up, blow past them altogether, or do you mark them? I put double green lines under every city, town, and region, and blue lines under water, like the Jordan River. When you study the Bible this way, you can find a place and discover you have been there before. In Mark 1:38-39; Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” And he went into their synagogues throughout all of Galilee, preaching and casting out demons.