John went further, going into Samaria, and preaching at the well-watered site of Aenon near Salim (probably at the meeting place of the modern Wadi Baida and Wadi Far‘a). But not long afterwards he was arrested in Antipas’s Transjordanian territory of Perea and imprisoned in the fortress of Macherus. There, after a few months, he was executed.

The Sea of Galilee and Surroundings.
Image source: © Carta, Jerusalem

Jesus returned to Galilee, breaking his journey at a place in Samaria called Sychar. There he found some eager hearers among people who had recently been influenced by John the Baptist’s preaching. When he arrived in Galilee, he made his headquarters at Capernaum and began to proclaim the good news that the kingdom of God was at hand.

The kingdom of God was not a political organization; it meant the acceptance of the rule of God in the hearts of men and women, according to the principles laid down by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and on other occasions.

Capernaum was one of several flourishing fishing towns on the lake-shore. Others were Bethsaida, just east of the point where the Jordan flows into the lake, and Magdala, famed for its export of salt fish (for which reason it was also known as Taricheae). Other places mentioned in the narrative of his work in Galilee (in addition to his home town of Nazareth, where he met with a very cool reception) are Chorazin, a little way inland from Capernaum, Cana, where the water became wine (probably Khirbet Qana, about 9 miles north of Nazareth), and Nain, to the south of Mount Tabor.

On the east side of the lake, at the place now called Kursi, the man possessed by a legion of demons was cured and the herd of pigs, feeding nearby, stampeded down the cliff into the lake.