Jesus has been teaching 5,000 people all day.
When they get hungry He multiplies five loaves and two fish into an all-you-can eat buffet, and all eat until they are full.
Jesus then commands His disciples to go ahead to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida, while He heads up the mountain to pray.
Then while on the mountain, sometime between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Jesus sees His disciples out “in the middle of the sea . . . straining at the oars.” (Mark 6:33-52).
I had always wondered how Jesus could see the disciples in the middle of the Sea of Galilee at night. The picture I took from the Cliffs of Arbel (left) answers the question.
Standing on the top of this mountain one can see to the far shore, and at night, with a good moon, seeing a boat in the middle of the sea would not have been a problem.
The rest of the story, the secluded place, a hillside large enough to accommodate 5,000 people, it all fits this location near the Cliffs of Arbel.
There were other stops today, Beth-Shean, for example, but as we headed back toward Jerusalem, the images most firmly imprinted on my mind are those in and around the Sea of Galilee where Jesus lived and taught.
I’m confident those images will continue to illuminate the text of the Gospels for the rest of my life. GS