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Tabgha-Church of the Multiplication

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One of the miracles celebrated at Tabgha was the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes.  A modern day church built in 1935 byt he Order of the Benedictine monks commemorates this event.  It is built over ruins of several modifications of the original church dating back to the early Byzantine period.  This church preserves one of the most beautiful mosaic floors discovered in the Holy Land showing the basket and two fish.  It is clamed the rock under the altar is in the main hall is where Jesus put the laves and fish.

The ancient mosaics gracing the floor of the church is a must see. They date back to the 4th and the 5th Century but are still blending in just right with the columns and arches in the more modern building housing it. The mosaics depict local plants and fauna from the Galilee, and are remnants of the old Byzantine church once standing on the spot.



Background Information


The Church of Multiplication is the place commemorating the New Testament story of Jesus multiplying fish and bread to feed 5000 people. The story comes to life for the visitor to the site, in its beautiful setting at the shores of the Sea of Galilee so well known to the Christian Bible reader. The present church is modern in it architectural style, but contains ancient mosaic floors dating back to early Christian times. The tradition of this being the place of Jesus' miracle is old, but not very likely correct, since the Biblical description isn't very exact in pinpointing the place, but the setting no doubt sets the scene for what it could have been like.


The contemporary church built in 1934 by the Franciscans marks the second miraculous event at Tabgha where it is believed Jesus made his third appearance after His death.  At this time he restored Peter to his place of authority.  Ancient churches as well as the one today, are built over a flat rock known as the "mensa Christi" or "Christ's Table," marking the site where the disciples may have eaten that day.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand John 6:8-11

"Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down" . . . and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.  Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as mush as they wanted.  He did the same with the fiash.



Reflections on the Scriptures


To reflect on the story:   John 6: 1-15: Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.


Philip answered him, "Eight months' wagesa] would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."


So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." Jesus, knowing th at they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.


To reflect on application to your own life: Psalm 37: 23b-26: 
If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

New International Version
Scriptures provided by: Eva Marie Everson; Best Selling Novelist
Reflections of God's Holy Land; A Personal Journey Through Israel




Travelujah Tips


The church is open seven days a week. Free admission. Wheel chair accessible.




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Galilee Boat,

Golan Heights





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