By Dr. Randall Smith
Courtesy of Christian Travel Study Programs, Ltd.
At the time of Jesus, scholars believe Tabgha was an uninhabited farming area. The Greeks called the region “Heptapegon”, or Seven Springs, and in Arabic the name changed form and became Tabgha. Some Christian historians have surmised that Jesus may come here when looking for solitude in which to meditate, especially since it was close to the Galilee city of Kfar Nahum (Capernaum). Today, Christians recall two of Jesus? miracles: the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and the event of St. Peter?s Primacy.
The Gospels read that when Jesus was told the fate of his cousin, John the Baptist, “he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” But the populace followed Jesus on foot from nearby towns and Jesus, who saw the crowd that had gathered, preached all day and healed their sick.
“As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ?This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.? Jesus then performed a miracle, feeding five thousand men “besides women and children” with only five loaves of bread and two fish. (Matthew 14:13-21).
The serene “Church of the Multiplication” was reconstructed over the Byzantine sanctuary on the site, with part of the ancient mosaic floor on display. Nearby, on the beach, stands a Chapel of St. Peter?s Primacy, recalling the events of Jn. 2:1.
Following in the traditions and footsteps of Jesus, pilgrims flock to Tabgha?s serene and peaceful shores for meditation, prayer and study.
© Christian Travel Study Programs, Ltd.