Bible Narratives Wiki
Lake Gennesaret

Sea of Galilee also known as “The lake of Gennesaret”

Gennesaret (Gen·nes′a·ret) is a countryside on the NW shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus performs miraculous healings, and rebukes the Pharisees for their "traditions of men" over the issue of defilement. The city of Gennesaret no longer exists today. However, the community of Ginosar was established in 1937 in honor of Gennesaret's possible location.

Gennesaret gospel narratives:

  • Matthew 14:34 - Matthew 15:20
  • Mark 6:53 - Mark 7:23
  • Luke 5:1

Healings in Gennesaret[]

And they crossed over and came to land in Gennesaret. (Matthew 14:34) When they got across to land, they came to Gennesaret and anchored the boat nearby. But as soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized him. (Mark 6:53, 54) On recognizing him, the men of that place sent word into all that surrounding country, and people brought him all those who were ill. (Matthew 14:35) They ran around all that region and started to bring on stretchers those who were ailing to where they heard he was. And wherever he would enter into villages or cities or the countryside, they would place the sick ones in the marketplaces, and they would plead with him that they might touch just the fringe of his outer garment. And all those who touched it were made completely well. (Mark 6:55, 56; Matthew 14:36)

Issue on defilement[]

Unwashed hands[]

Then there came to Jesus from Jerusalem Pharisees and scribes. (Matthew 15:1) Now the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him. And they saw some of his disciples eat their meal with defiled hands, that is, unwashed ones. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow, clinging to the tradition of the men of former times, and when they come from the market, they do not eat unless they wash themselves. There are many other traditions that they have received and cling to, such as baptisms of cups, pitchers, and copper vessels.)

So these Pharisees and scribes asked him: “Why do your disciples not observe the tradition of the men of former times, but they eat their meal with defiled hands?” (Mark 7:1-5; Matthew 15:2)

Tradition oversteps commandment[]

In reply he [that is, Jesus] said to them: “Why do you overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition? For example, God said [to Moses], ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Let the one who speaks abusively of his father or mother be put to death.’ (Matthew 15:3-5) But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother: “Whatever I have that could benefit you is corban (that is, a gift dedicated to God),”’(Mark 7:11; Matthew 15:6) you no longer let him do a single thing for his father or his mother. 13 Thus you make the word of God invalid by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like this.” (Mark 7:9-13) You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you when he said: ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’ (Matthew 15:7-9) You let go of the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men.” (Mark 7:6-8)

What really defiles a man[]

With that he [that is, Jesus] called the crowd near and said to them: “Listen and get the sense of it: It is not what enters into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but it is what comes out of his mouth that defiles him. (Matthew 15:10, 11) Nothing from outside a man that enters into him can defile him; but the things that come out of a man are the things that defile him.” (Mark 7:14-15) ——

Now when he [that is, Jesus] had entered a house away from the crowd, his disciples began to question him about the illustration. (Mark 7:17) Then the disciples came and said to him: “Do you know that the Pharisees were stumbled at hearing what you said?” In reply he said: “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Let them be. Blind guides is what they are. If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Peter responded: “Make the illustration plain to us.” (Matthew 15:12-15) So he [that is, Jesus] said to them: “Are you also without understanding like them? Are you not aware that whatever enters into the mouth passes through the stomach and is discharged into the sewer? (Matthew 15:16, 17) Thus he declared all foods clean. (Mark 7:18-20)

Further, he said: “ (Mark 7:20a) However, whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and those things defile a man. For example, out of the heart come wicked injurious reasonings, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false testimonies, (Matthew 15:18-19a) greed, acts of wickedness, deceit, brazen conduct, an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, and unreasonableness. (Mark 7:21, 22) These are the things that defile a man; but to take a meal with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” (Matthew 15:19b, 20; Mark 7:23)