Bethsaida – the biblical hometown of the disciples Andrew, Peter and Philip – was supposedly the place where Jesus performed a number of miracles.
It is on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee, at the end of the Jordan River – not far from Capernaum, where Jesus spent much of his adulthood. The name Bethsaida means "house of the fisherman" in Hebrew.
Miracles performed at Bethsaida included feeding the 5,000 in which Christ – after the death of John the Baptist – used five loaves of bread and two fish brought by a boy to feed a multitude of his followers.
He took the five loaves and the two fish and looked up at the sky, thanked them, and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. “The event is described in Luke 9: 16-17.
"They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples took up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over."
Meanwhile, the Gospel of Mark tells of a blind man from Bethsaida whose sight was restored after two blessings from Jesus.
"They came to Bethsaida and some people brought a blind man and asked Jesus to touch him," begins Mark 8:22.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. When he spat on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see something?" & # 39;
He looked up and said, “I see people; They look like trees running around. “& # 39;
"Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his eyesight was restored and he saw everything clearly."
"Jesus sent him home and said," Don't even go to the village. "& # 39;
According to the Benedictine monk Saint Bede, this miracle is an example of how "Christ teaches us how great is the spiritual blindness of man, which can only gradually come to the light of divine knowledge".
Also in Mark is a reference to Jesus walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee – a miracle that was performed after the 5,000 had been fed, after which Jesus had sent the disciples in front of him to Bethsaida by boat.
“After leaving her, he went up a mountainside to pray,” begins Mark 6-45.
Later that night the boat was in the middle of the lake and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples tightening the oars because the wind was against them.
Just before sunrise he went to them and went for a walk on the lake. He was about to pass them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They screamed because they all saw him and were scared. & # 39;
He immediately spoke to them and said: “Take courage! It's me. Have no fear. "Then he got into the boat with them and the wind eased."
According to Matthew, Jesus began his public ministry in the Bethsaida area – fulfilling Isaiah's prediction that his people would see "a great light".
However, Jesus' sermons seem to have fallen on largely deaf ears when he made his final trip to Jerusalem.
"Woe to you, Bethsaida!" Jesus is supposed to have said this in Luke 10:13.
"For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tire and Sidon, they would have repented long ago and sat in sackcloth and ashes."