Tabgha

Tabgha

Capernaum Qumran Caves
Tabgha

Tabgha, Israel

Tabgha is located on the northwestern shore of Lake of Gennesaret in northern Israel. Capernaum lies 2.5 km northeast of Tabgha, and the alleged location of the Sermon on the Mount is a 1.1 km hike or a 4.4 km drive up the hill from Tabgha.

Until 1948, Tabgha was a small town populated by Muslim and Christian Palestinians, all of whom were expelled by the Jewish militia, which leveled Tabgha during the Israeli War of Independence. Tabgha remains barren today except for the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, which was built in 1981, damaged by a Jewish arson attack in 2015, and is still operated by the Dominicans, a Roman Catholic order.

According to them, the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes was built over the spot in Tabgha where Jesus fed "five thousand men, besides women and children" with two fish and five barley loaves.*

How can Jesus feed thousands of people with just two fish and five loaves?

If a baby were to break bricks with his tiny fist, we would call it a miracle. But if Bruce Lee were to break bricks with his fist, we wouldn't call that a miracle.

What's the point?

We call something a "miracle" when someone does something that exceeds our estimation of his power. But our estimation can be an underestimation. If Jesus is the Creator - "For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him." (Colossians 1:16) - for Him to feed a few thousand people with even nothing would have been a piece of cake.**

What is the black rock in the photo above?

The photo was taken inside the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha. According to the clerk in the church's gift shop, that rock is where Jesus laid the two fish and five loaves to bless them.

Is that true?

The Bible identifies the location of Jesus' feeding miracle simply as a "deserted place",* there is no mention of him laying the food on anything, and there is no instance in the Bible of Jesus blessing or preaching from behind a rock, or praying on one (see Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus tomb).

* When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:13-21)

Travel Tip
If you wish to stock up on liquor during your trip, go up the hill from Tabgha to the "gift" shop at the Church of the Beatitudes, built on the alleged location of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and run by Franciscans (another Catholic order), for its wide selection.

Beatitudes ChurchIn fact, booze accounts for over half of its inventory. When asked how she justifies hawking whiskey and vodka (photo's right) at a church, especially one that supposedly commemorates Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the clerk replied, "We don't sell flask, so people cannot drink inside the church."

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’' (Matthew 21:12-13)

** For more evidences on this, watch and listen to a couple of former atheists. One is an MD and the other is a JD.

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