The City of Tabgha is on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee and is the location where John 21 takes place. The Catholics often build a church over important ruins to mark such spots. In Tabgha, the Franciscans built a church called the Church of the Primacy of Peter.
In John 21, Jesus appears to his disciples for the third time after his resurrection; this was in Tabgha. The disciples had gone out during the night to fish, but had caught nothing. In the morning, a man appeared on the shore and suggested they cast their nets on the right side of the boat. As they did, they caught so many fish that they could not drag the net back into the boat.
At this point, Peter recognized Jesus and plunged into the water from the boat to swim to shore. The other disciples followed in the boat, dragging the nets behind them.
When they reached land, Jesus had prepared a charcoal fire for the fish and provided bread; they had breakfast together.
After breakfast, Jesus reinstated Peter (after his three-time denial of Jesus at the crucifixion) with the words, "Feed my sheep." (John 21:15-19)
Inside this church, there is a large rock called the “Table of Christ (Latin: Mensa Christi) near the altar. This is where John 21 is believed to have taken place - where Jesus served His disciples a fish breakfast after waiting for them to land on the shore.
I love that Jesus was on the shore waiting for His disciples. While I stood at this place, I closed my eyes and could hear the soft Galilee waves softly washing over the tiny dark shells and dark rocks there. I could imagine the sizzle of the pan as Jesus waited for the boat to bring in freshly caught fish. I could see a replica of a boat similar to one of that day. I could picture the smoke swirling up from the charcoal fire. I pictured Jesus waiting. Often I think about waiting so long for God to answer some of my prayers. However, I don’t often picture Jesus waiting for me. He is patient and waits for me - just as he enjoyed the morning by the fire waiting for His disciples.
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