FISHERS OF MEN
As Jesus’ ministry expanded, he became an itinerant rabbi travelling to towns and villages around the Sea of Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. A number of his disciples including James and John, and Simon and Andrew, had small fishing businesses, and Jesus was able to use their boats to travel across the lake to preach to the large crowds on the shore.
THE CALLING OF PETER
Simon Peter’s calling to follow Jesus came after a frustrating night of fishing and catching nothing at all. After preaching to the crowd from Simon’s boat Jesus said to him ‘Put out into the deeper part, and let down your nets for a catch.’ When they did so, they caught such a huge number of fish that their nets began to break. They signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. So they came, and filled both the boats, and they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees.
‘Go away,’ he said. ‘Leave me, Lord! I’m a sinner!’ He and all his companions were gripped with amazement at the catch of fish they had taken; this included James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.
‘Don’t be afraid,’ said Jesus to Simon. ‘From now on you’ll be catching people.’
They brought the boats in to land. Then they abandoned everything and followed him.
Interestingly, in 1986, after a severe drought, a fishing boat was discovered in lake mud, around five miles north of the ancient town of Magdala. It could hold up to 10 fishermen with their equipment and nets, and was dated to between 50BC and 50AD - around the time of Jesus’ ministry!
One of Jesus’ most loyal disciples, Mary Magdalene, also came from Magdala, which was known as Nunayya or ‘Magdala of the Fishes’ in the Talmud, and was renowned for Magdalene fish sauce, one of the favourite condiments of the ancient world.
MOUNT OF BEATITUDES
On the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee is the Mount of Beatitudes, also known as Mount Eremos, believed to be the setting for Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount and the miraculous feeding of the 5000. From here, there are beautiful views of the lake, surrounding villages and the Golan Heights on the other side. The 4th century pilgrim, Egeria, mentions a cave in the hillside at the Seven Springs, near Tabgha, “upon which the Lord ascended when he taught the Beatitudes”. Archaeologist, Bargil Pixner says that the terrace above the cave must be considered the traditional place of the Sermon on the Mount.
Nearby is Sower’s Cove where it is thought that Jesus taught the Parable of the Sower from a boat moored in the bay. This event is commemorated by pilgrims at the eight-sided Church of the Beatitudes built in 1938 for a Franciscan order of nuns.
The Leonardo Tiberias hotel is situated right across from the Sea of Galilee. The hotel is positioned in a natural green expanse, enabling guests to get up close to nature during a stay. Leonardo Hotel offers a varied selection of breakfast and dinner options and is especially well regarded for the high level of attentive service provided to all guests.
On the Shores of Galilee
On the shores of the Sea of Galilee with the magnificent scene of Mount Arbel and opposite the rolling hills of the Golan, Nof Ginosar is a charming, appealing haven of lush greenery surrounded by peace and tranquility. Nof Ginosar gives you space and freedom to enjoy the shores of Galilee and provides and excellent buffet.