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Tabgha – Peter’s Primacy

The Valley of the Seven Springs, the place where the Risen Lord reconciled with Peter.
Tabgha 3

Tabgha, also known as the Seven Springs, is situated on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Tradition establishes this as the location where the miracle of the multiplication of the five loaves and the two fish (Matthew 14). Nearby is the place that marks Peter’s encounter with the Risen Christ, as recorded in John 21:1-19 (It was the third and the last time Jesus revealed Himself after He rose from the dead):

Peter was in the boat with Thomas, Nathanael of Cana, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples, trying to catch fish all night, but they caught nothing. As Jesus stood on the seashore in the morning, He ordered them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find.” As they did, they came up with a great catch – 153 fish*. When Peter returned to the shore and saw the charcoal fire and breakfast (prepared by Jesus), he remembered his previous denial of the Savior three times at the outdoor courtyard of Caiaphas’s House in Jerusalem (the charcoal fire is mentioned in the Bible only twice). As Jesus shared breakfast with the Disciples, Jesus asked Peter three times: “Simon, Son of John, do you love Me…?”

Twice in the Bible, Jesus named Peter “Son of Jonah”:

Before the final journey of Christ from Galilee to Jerusalem and His crucifixion, at Caesarea Philippi, at the very center of Pagan worship near the gates of hell, Jesus asked Peter, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” and Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” Then Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven..” (Matthew 16). It was the first time Jesus named Peter “Son of Jonah.”
Jesus was preparing Peter’s heart to share the “good news” among the other nations, as Jonah did. “Feed my sheep”.

At Joppa, Simon Peter spent many days in the house of Simon the Tanner (Acts 9:43); it was there that Peter received his vision from the Lord on the housetop (Acts 10:9-23). Three times, he tried to avoid touching “the unclean meat,” but the voice spoke to him, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” Peter realized that God is the Lord of all people, Jews and non-Jews.
It was previously at Joppa that Jonah boarded a ship headed for Tarshish instead of obeying God and going to the Gentiles in Nineveh (Jonah 1), which he eventually did.
God is telling Peter not to try and escape from His calling, and He is sending him to the Gentiles to carry the Word of God as Jonah was called to do.

  • Is there anything special behind the specific number of 153 fish?
    Usually, numbers in the Bible have a meaning.
    The numeric value of number 153 is: I AM GOD. In Hebrew, this phrase is “Ani Elohim” “אני אלוהים.”

See below for the numeric value of the Hebrew letters in this phrase.

א-1 (E) א-1 (A)
ל- 30 (l) נ- 50 (n)
ו- 6 (o) י- 10 (i) 
ה- 5 (h)
י- 10 (i)
ם- 40 (m)

 

 

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