Gordon Franz Of The Institute Of Holy Land Studies Jerusalem, Israel -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 06:3 (Summer 1993)
Article: Gordon Franz Of The Institute Of Holy Land Studies Jerusalem, Israel
Author: Anonymous

Gordon Franz Of The Institute Of Holy Land Studies Jerusalem, Israel

As the calm waters reflected the slowly rising sun over the Sea of Galilee, a lonely figure walked from Capernaum along a path near the rocky shore of the lake. On this spring day, He noticed the flowers, with their hue of diverse and plentiful colors, in full bloom along the shore and delighted in the birds flying overhead, singing their melodious songs. Yet His heart was still heavy. A few weeks before His family and friends rejected Him in His hometown of Nazareth (Luke 4:16–30). Since then He had spent the last several Sabbaths teaching in the synagogue of Capernaum, the largest Jewish city along the northern shore of the lake (Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:31). Later that day, as the sun would set over the mountains of Lower Galilee, another Sabbath would begin. Yet before this day was over, the vocation of four Galilean fishermen would be changed forever.

“Follow Me, I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:18–22; Mark 1:16–20).

The Seven Springs (today called Heptapegon, or Tabgha) are approximately 2 1/2 kilometers (1 1/2 miles) to the west of Capernaum. Warm water flowed from these springs, loaded with organic matter which attracted fish during the winter and spring months. Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, called the largest spring at this location the “well of Capernaum” (Jewish Wars III:519). It was here that the lonely man spotted several Capernaum fisherman. Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew were wading in the shallow waters using their cast nets. This circular net, usually 6 to 8 meters (19–26 feet) in circumference with small bars of lead attached to the edge, was carefully folded so that when the fisherman cast it forth it would open like a parachute and fall over the shoal of fish. The fisherman would dive down, gather the weights to entrap the fish inside the net, and drag it to shore to sort out their catch.

The lonely man called out from the shore, “Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” This was not the first time these fisherman had encountered the Lord Jesus. More than a year and a half prior, Andrew, a follower of John the Baptizer heard his mentor proclaim with excitement, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” In

the process of leaving the Baptizer, Andrew found his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” and brought him to Jesu...

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