TABGHA (Heptageon, Ein Sheva - “Seven Springs”) - Located 2.5 miles west of Capernaum is the traditional location of both miraculous catches of fish (Luke 5 and John 21) and the calling of the disciples (Matthew 4:18-22).
The warm springs help produce algae which cause fish to gather. The area has been a known “fishing hole” for thousands of years.
Tradition dating back to the 300’s also places the feeding of the 5000 here, but this is disputed (based in part on geographic details from the Bible). There is the Church of the Multiplication here, which has a beautiful mosaic.
Catholic tradition associates Tabgha with Peter being named the singular leader of the church, hence the name of the church “Primacy of St. Peter.” The rock inside the church is said to be the “Mensa Christi,” the table of Christ, on which the breakfast described in John 21 was served.
It happened here:
- First Miraculous Catch of fish - (Mark 5:1-11 - Gospels study: Capernaum)
- Calling of the Disciples - (Matthew 4:18-22 - Gospels study: Capernaum)
- Post resurrection appearance, second miraculous catch of fish, and restoration of Peter (John 21 - Gospels study: Stranger on the Shore (coming in 2025 - perhaps LIVE from Israel?))
In addition to the two miraculous catches of fish and the calling of the disciples, Tabgha is also where we remember Jesus’ beautiful restoration of Peter after his three denials. Jesus specifically asked Peter three times if Peter loved Jesus. Jesus then reminded Peter of the commitment he made back in Luke 5 - “Follow Me.”
1-min Devotional - Restoration Beach:
This video was recorded on a rainy day in January 2023.
(I found out later that the church bells meant mass was starting and they were closing the beach!)
Lessons from Tabgha
- Why was Peter’s restoration in John 21 so similar to his calling in Luke 5?
- What does God look for in a disciple? Perfection?
- What does God look for in restoration?
- Who took the initiative to restore, Peter or Jesus?
- In what ways are you in need of a trip to Tabgha for restoration?
For us, Tabgha reminds us that, whenever we fail, GOD IS NOT DONE WITH US. He doesn’t just call us once and then expect us to figure things out on our own when we stumble.
He is there with us to restore us.