Where did Jesus travel during His earthly ministry? Did He ever travel outside of Judea?
Jesus of Nazareth
We know that Jesus grew up in Nazareth in Galilee and that He walked everywhere He went but no one knows but God exactly how many miles Jesus walked during His earthly ministry. Neither can we know with precision every place He went during this time but some theorize that Jesus went to other places around the world. The problem with that theory is there is zero evidence of this and there are absolutely no biblical references to support any of this belief. It is pure conjecture and speculation. The most reliable source about where Jesus traveled here on earth can only be found in the Bible and that is what we will use as a source to try and find out where Jesus traveled while He was in His earthly ministry.
Jesus’ Lifetime Travels
Strictly based upon the accounts in the Gospel, it is estimated that Jesus walked at least 3,000 miles or more during the three years of his earthly ministry. The total number of miles he walked in his lifetime is probably exceeded 21,000 miles if you estimate from the time of His birth to His death. That is a lot of miles. Today, we can’t really imagine how far that would have been or how difficult it had to be for Him. These walks took place in the hot, scorching summer and in the dead cold of winter. He had no place to call home so He probably slept outdoors quite often.
Jesus from Galilee
We already know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2) and that He was raised in Nazareth because He is often referred to as Jesus of Nazareth (Matt 21:11; 26:71; Mark 1:9; 1:24; 10:47) so obviously, Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, which lay around the Sea of Galilee. Jesus frequently traveled by foot to Jerusalem to go to the feasts or holy days and to the temple. That’s roughly about 65 miles. That would take at least three days on foot and so he must have passed through several cities and villages on the way and He was not afraid to even enter Samaria (John 4) as were the Jews.
Jesus’ Enters the Wilderness
We know from Scripture that Jesus visited parts of Jordan right after his baptism at the hands of John the Baptist but not before He entered into the Wilderness. Where was this “wilderness?” To the ancient Jews it was known as the “parched land” or “waste land” and they called it by the name YeShimon which means “Place of Desolation.” It was rightly named because in consisted of a contorted nightmare of jagged ridges and narrow canyons and was the scene of one of the greatest battles of all time when Jesus defeated Satan’s three-fold temptations. The wilderness is basically the Judaean Desert and is located from just east of Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea and extended southward to the Negev Desert.
Other Places Jesus Traveled
We also know that He preached in the cities of Tyre and Sidon in South Lebanon. Jesus also passed “alongside the Sea of Galilee” (Mark 1:16) and later “went into Capernaum” (Mark 1:21). He was even transfigured on Mount Hermon which is located in South Lebanon and in fact, His first miracle was performed in the city of Cana in South Lebanon, where he turned water into wine. The vast majority of His life was mainly spent in the Galilee area, and some in the Jerusalem area, where in the end, He went up to the feast and also to enter into His passion; the illegal trial, His condemnation (even though He was innocent), the scourging by the Roman guards, the crucifixion at Calvary which was just outside the city walls, and finally buried nearby.
The Apostle John concluded his gospel by writing “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31). That leaves us all with only one of two choices; we can believe in Christ and receive eternal life (John 3:36a) or we reject Him and but then we’ll have the wrath of God abiding on us for all time (John 3:36b). You are responsible for your choices so I strongly urge you to choose life and that is found only in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.