3/1/16

Tabgha - Loaves and Fishes Miracle #travel #VisitIsrael

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Tabgha is just down the hill from the Mount of Beatitudes. It sits on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee and is the location of the miracle of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes. Jesus' feeding of the five thousand is recorded in all four gospels of the Bible:

Matthew 14 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Mark 6 41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. 42 And they did all eat, and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. 44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

Luke 9 14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

John 6 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
Recorded in both the Book of Matthew and the Book of Mark, there is a second feeding of the multitude, numbering 4000, which occurred near here, in Tel Hadar on the northeastern shore:

Matthew 15 34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. 35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. 38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.

Mark 8 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

In the Book of Mark, Jesus even refers to both miracles:

Mark 8 18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

It's interesting to note, too, that the number recorded as fed included only the men. Matthew repeatedly states "...beside women and children" which means there were more people that Jesus actually fed.
The ancient mosaic floor in the photo above is part of a church in Tabgha that dates back to the mid-third century. The mosaic features two fishes alongside a basket of loaves, depicting the first feeding of the multitude. Since it is sectioned off for preservation, I couldn't get any closer to it. It was excavated in the 1930s and is part of the original church built there. The rock on the far side of the mosaic has been speculated to be the rock Jesus stood upon as he blessed the bread and fishes. In the early 1980s, the current church was built around the original church.
Tabgha, in Hebrew is Ein Sheva which means "spring of seven," and in Greek is Heptapegon, which means “seven springs.” Six of the springs have been identified in the area, including Job's spring, where Job is believed to have treated his illnesses. You can read his story in the Book of Job in the Bible. Tabgha is also the site where Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection, which is written in John 21, as well as several other notable events.

I love the last verse of the Book of John - John 21 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

There are really no words to describe the feeling of being in places where Jesus performed miracles. Time and time again, I experienced amazement, peace, and joy in Israel. My entire life, I've heard the stories of the Bible, but standing in the places where these things happened makes the Bible come alive in a way I've never known. I've also noticed, since I've returned home, that reading the words of the Bible now is a whole new experience in itself. As I read, I can picture the places in my mind because I've actually been there. In Hebrews 11 1, it says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." but I have to admit that my faith has grown deeper by seeing evidence that still exists.

Read more about my travels HERE.
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4 comments:

  1. I had no idea that so many events of Jesus's ministry took place in the same spot! I am learning a LOT from your blog. ❤️

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    1. I was just as surprised. Israel is only about the size of New Jersey.

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  2. Love your pictures and information!

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    1. Thanks for reading! I'm happy to share!

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