To the other side of the Sea of Galilee


In the lectionary I use for daily prayer, this morning’s gospel reading is from John 6. The chapter begins, “After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee …”

In the gospel stories set in this location, Jesus is frequently crossing to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, whenever the whim strikes him! For that reason, I always thought the Sea was small.

In this case, I was quite surprised. It’s a large body of water. It’s large enough to have white caps when there’s a strong wind — as you can see in the pictures below. (We took a boat across the Sea ourselves, and, with the wind and the rough water, we got just a taste of the story in John 6:16-21.)

White caps on the Sea of Galilee

White caps on the Sea of Galilee

A model of a fishing boat that Jesus' disciples would have used in their profession.

A model of a fishing boat that Jesus' disciples would have used in their profession.

The remains of a first century fishing boat, recently excavated and preserved.

The remains of a first century fishing boat, recently excavated and preserved.


About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Andy Ballentine loves being a parish pastor! Pastor Ballentine took his BA degree from the University of Virginia (with a major in sociology) and earned the Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He earned the Master of Sacred Theology degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with the thesis topic of: "How Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Nourishes Parish Ministry." He has completed the program of Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. In the Virginia Synod, Pastor Ballentine has served as Dean of the Peninsula Conference and as chaplain to the candidates in the Virginia Synod’s Candidacy process (those on the way to being approved for ordained and professional ministries in the church). He has staffed many, many Virginia Synod youth events!