Yes, I knew that Sea of Galilee (actually a fresh water lake) also known as Lake Gennaseret (Luke 5:1 KJV) or Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1 KJV) derived its names from its proximity to either the main province (Galilee was one of the six provinces the Roman empire had divided the Land of Palestine into for better administrative control during Jesus’ time) or the main cities (prominent cities of Gennaseret and Tiberias were on its north western bank). However it was only during my recent visit to the Holy Land (had an emotional boat ride in this Scenic lake which was a host to several astounding miracles of the Saviour) that I came to know why it is also known as (thanks to a knowledgeable guide’s explanation) Sea of Chinnereth (in Hebrew Sea of Kinnereth-Numbers 34:11 KJV). It derives its name Kinnereth from the Hebrew word kinnor (“harp” or “lyre”), in view of the shape of the lake.
Oh praise the Lord for being a great facilitator (Genesis 24:7)! For Joshua and co., who would be entering the Promised Land for the FIRST TIME, recognizing this Water body (700 ft approx below Sea level) from a panoramic view would be easy, only if it is named as per its APPEARANCE and not by any other name. Hence before any other name was given to this Lake which would act as a vital reference point during Land Division amongst the tribes, the Almighty Himself called it the Sea of Kinnereth to facilitate its easy recognition at a time, Joshua and his army were yet to step into the Promised Land.
While several astounding miracles were performed by the Redeemer in this picturesque harp-like Lake, one miracle which resonates like lingering sweet melody always in my ears is that of Creator (Col 1:16) walking on water (Matt 14: 22-34). In this 3-part series, let’s look at what lessons, we can learn from this stupefying miracle of the Lord. By the way, if you did not know before, let me take this opportunity to remind you at this juncture NO ONE IN HUMAN HISTORY HAD WALKED ON WATER BEFORE OR LATER (no, not even the great Old Testament Prophets) and closer to times fake mystic gurus like Hata Yogi who tried walking on water in Mumbai in early 1970s’ sank without a trace.
Prophecy . . .
Several landmark events in Jesus’ life were already prophesied…like his virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), crucifixion (Psalm 22:16), resurrection (Psalm 16:10), ascension (Psalm 68:18/Ephesians 4:8) and even the last word, He would utter on the cross (Psalm 31:5/Luke 23:46). So was this stupendous miracle of walking on water also foretold?
Before answering that…let’s get into a lesson within a lesson. Why so many Prophecies? Even without a single Prophecy, Saviour could have been born to a virgin, completed the Redemption plan, commissioned the disciples to preach the Gospel and ascended to Heaven. Welcome to rationalists’ association (I deeply love all the rationalists’ and want none to lose out on the SALVATION, the Almighty offers) which demands proofs to validate every Divine act as really a Divine act. Now can these respected intellectuals put down Jesus’ life and all the astounding events in His life to “mere supernatural occurrences”, devoid of any Divine involvement, especially when there are blaring prophecies galore about them? If they still do so, one cannot be faulted in doubting their intelligence. Let me illustrate…
Two years ago, the ladies of our Church went to buy some gifts in a busy market for Church widows and orphans during Christmas time. Mission accomplished, when they returned to the Church, one Sister in faith found out to her dismay that she had just left her purse in a busy parking lot. Praying fervently, the Women Fellowship members rushed back to the spot (good 4 kms away- during peak rush hour time it took them quite some time to arrive there) and lo and behold, there was that precious purse “unpicked”, safe and secure in the same, busy parking lot. Talk of Baby Moses being safe amongst hungry Crocodiles in River Nile! Now if I were to trumpet this “miracle” as an act of a prayer-answering God (Psalm 50:15) before an agnostic, he may most probably dismiss it as “a case of good fortune” but ponder for a moment, if this event (with all the details, including intricate ones’) had been prophesied and documented in a “Book”, a good 25 years before it actually took place, would my rationalist friend irrationally still attribute it to a case of “sheer luck or coincidence”? NO WAY! Ditto… with the case of Jesus’ life and all the associated Prophecies written hundreds of years before the Saviour arrived!
Now coming to the core question? Was this stupendous miracle in Jesus’ life also prophesied? Here goes… “He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea” (Job 9:8 NIV). HALLELUJAH!!!
Boy, what is the significance of so many fulfilled Prophecies of Jesus’ life to those of us of the contemporary generation? Simple, if so many prophecies regarding His First advent were fulfilled, should we not take THE WORD (John 1:1-3) AT HIS WORD regarding His Second advent also? Take my word, THE WORD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD. What then is my job? Be alert to the same (Second advent) and alert others…
Prayer: Father, I praise and thank thee for placing the irrefutable proofs about your majestic Son’s first and second advents’. Enable us to “broadcast” these proofs to the World, at all times. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
Please join us next Tuesday for THE ETERNAL MUSIC, Part 2.
(To access the entire “The Eternal Music” mini-series, please click here.)