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Even two thousand years after Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount near the Sea of Galilee, there isn’t much to see.

Sea of Galilee.

The Sermon on the Mount was spoken by Jesus just above the Sea of Galilee seen on the map under the yellow pushpin.

If it wasn’t for a few religious buildings built on the site to commemorate the most important speech ever given, it would be a few unknown farms on a beautiful hillside overlooking a large freshwater lake. The Church of the Beatitudes is on the site at lat/lon 32.8806 35.5559

Site of the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus

Site of the Sermon on the Mount looking south-west across the Sea of Galilee

Photos from Tourists in Israel

Church of the Beatitudes

Looking east at the Church of the Beatitudes on a hillside above the Sea of Galilee with a view to the river Jordan where Jesus was baptized.

Capernaum is on the beach directly behind the church but the view of it is blocked by the hillside.

View east of Sermon on the Mount site.

This Google Earth oblique view shows the site in the foreground, Capernaum where Jesus lived is on the beach and the upper river Jordan floodplain 3 miles in the distance.

The Sermon on the Mount by Jesus

A Google Earth image with the site of The Sermon on the Mount at 32.8806 35.5559. Click for bigger.

It is three miles from the yellow pushpin over to the river Jordan outlet into the Sea of Galilee and one mile to Capernaum along the same line. Even today the population is sparse and the fishermen few. Where would the multitudes walk from to hear a short sermon on an open hillside? The trees around the church are eucalyptus and palms introduced about a hundred years ago.

The hillside where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered.

The Sermon on the Mount site as seen from the Sea of Galilee.

Most of these buildings are probably modern but there are some remarkable stone ruins at Capernaum about a mile to the right of this photo.

Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee

Town of Capernaum on the beach in foreground and the site of the Sermon on the Mount on the hill behind it.

The image is from Crystal Links. This beautiful site must have been trodden upon by Neanderthals a half a million years ago, and by modern humans about fifty thousand years ago and by Jesus two thousand years ago. Those things are remarkable and yet the place is almost desolate now except for the commemorative buildings.

Important things can happen in desolate places.