There are two major bodies of water that dominate the land of Jesus. The Sea of Galilee is in the northern part of Israel. It is fed by various sources: rainfall, the headwaters of the Jordan River, underground springs, and streams from the hills of Galilee. The land around the Sea is the same today as it was at the time of Jesus. It is green and lush. The fresh water allows fish to abound in number and in kind. The surrounding countryside is full of population and valuable farmland. This sea and all that drinks from it is alive.
The Dead Sea is in the southern part of Israel. It is the exact opposite of its northern counterpart. It is fed primarily by the Jordan River, which travels almost 100 miles from the Sea of Galilee. There is very little annual rainfall at the Dead Sea. The shoreline is barren, dry and harsh. The water is almost 34 percent salt saturated which means that nothing can live in those briny waters.
What is the difference between these two bodies of water? It is very simple. One takes in and gives away freshness so it is alive. The other only takes in new life, but has no outlet to give away the fresh waters that it has received. As a result – this one dies.
The Sea of Galilee is a wonderful place to be. The water looks fresh and the surrounding trees huddle along its shores as their roots drink from the freshness. The secret to this abundant life is that the Sea not only receives the water that flows in as a gift, it also gives back the water it receives. For every drop that enters the Sea of Galilee another drop is emptied into the Jordan River. It is not really a sea but a large fresh water lake that allows life to thrive around it. The Sea is really a conduit. This Sea is a good steward. Thus – it is alive!
On the other hand, the Dead Sea has no outlet. One could say that this Sea attempts to hoard and guard the water that it has received. The Dead Sea receives an average of 6 million tons of water every day from the Jordan River. The gifting of water into the Sea is not paltry. It is abundant! But every drop it gets, it keeps. As a result of this stagnation the water evaporates and goes away.
The Sea of Galilee gives and lives. The other sea gives nothing. It is named the Dead. The spiritual lesson is gained from the geography lesson. The choice is obvious. Either we share and we live, or we hoard and we die.
There are two kinds of seas in Palestine. There are two kinds of people in the world. Which kind are we?