Very little of the Old Testament took place in the Galilee region. Old Testament stories do not make much mention of the Mediterranean, Dead Sea, or the Sea of Galilee. Jews, then as now, are not well-known as sea-faring peoples, especially compared to ancient Phoenicians, Greeks, or Carthaginians. But when Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, came on the scene in the New Testament, he spent considerable time ministering in the region of the Galilee. Why? This video uses geography and topography to suggest some answers concerning Jesus as the Messiah of all nations, as well as his teaching methods.
Scriptures: Any gospel story that takes place in the Galilee region, including Matthew 16:2-3, Matthew 8:23-27, Luke 8:22-25, and Mark 4:35-41, and Mark 6:45-52.
Galilee of the Gentiles
This video dives deeper into particular locations in the Galilee region. We learn how his ministry in the Galilee confirmed his Messiahship as prophesied in the OT. We also see how the Galilee region provided excellent visuals for his Sermon on the Mount.
Scriptures: John 4; Matthew 8:28, Mark 5:1, and Luke 8:26; Jonah 1 and Matt 8 and 12, Mark 1, 4, and 5, and Luke 8 and 11; Isaiah 65:1-7; and Matt 4:25-7:27.
Nazareth of Galilee
That the Messiah was born in Nazareth surprised people of his day. This video suggests why. It also offers some reason why Jesus's childhood home was actually a logical place for him to grow up. It finishes with some photographs of Nazareth Village in Israel, a living history site that preserves and recreates the ancient village of Nazareth.
Scriptures: Isaiah 9:1-2; Matt 4:13-16; and John 1:45-46.
At a particular moment noted in the Bible, Jesus left Nazareth and moved to Capernaum. If we know a bit about ancient Capernaum and then follow the story of Jesus and John through the book of Matthew, we might discover why he made that move. The answer can encourage us in times of doubt, when we wonder if Jesus really hears us and cares.
Scriptures: Matthew chapters 3-9, 11, 14, and 18; and Luke 4:18-19.
At one point in his ministry, Jesus and his disciples hiked over twenty miles from the Sea of Galilee to Caesarea. Matthew reports that Jesus gave them one short sermon there, and then, apparently, they hiked back. Why go to all that effort for one short message? Seeing the site where Jesus likely gave that message offers a powerful explanation. Clue: Jesus's message there is an encouraging promise about the future of the Church.
Scripture: Matthew 16:13-20