Miles Jesus and Mary walked
How far did Jesus and Mary Walk?
(New, Updated and Revised)
Mary the Mother of Jesus ‘Walked at least’ Half the distance around the world at the equator!
Jesus of Nazareth ‘Walked almost’ the distance around the world at the equator!
I, Arthur Blessitt as the Guinness Book of Record’s holder for ‘the world’s longest walk’ I have spent now over 46 years walking with a 12 foot cross around the world. By the grace and mercy of God I have carried the cross in 321 nations, island groups and territories. The distance is over 41,552 walking miles (66,871 km). As a ‘walking man’ and follower of Jesus I of course have pondered over and over the life of Jesus and his lifestyle and travel. This also is true of Mary the Mother of Jesus. I feel that as you see the following facts you will begin to look at both Jesus and Mary in a different light. Most often Jesus is shown in artist’s paintings and film in a white clean robe and Mary in spotless clothes. I feel it is very important to see both Jesus and Mary in a true real life way.
I have never read, nor can I find any information on the miles they walked. To most it is assumed that Jesus traveled only a few miles from where He was born. I read a recent book saying Jesus never traveled over 30 miles from His birthplace. Another source says 90 miles. All such statements are inaccurate, as I will soon show. I begin this study alone with the leading of the Holy Spirit. After the first draft and appearing on T.V. Rev. Mike Ooten who has offered great insight to the fact of Jesus attending at least three festivals a year joined me in this historic endeavor. His notes are toward the end of this article.
Please consider the following:
Every devout religious Jew was to be at least ‘three’ times a year Jerusalem. “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel”. (Exodus 34: 23) Foremost among the many religious feasts was the ‘Passover’. Surely both Mary and Jesus attended the yearly Passover. Remember in Jesus public ministry of 3 years He was once at “Feast of Booths” (John 7:2) in Jerusalem and once He was at the “Feast of Dedication” (John 10:22-39). He was in Jerusalem during that 3-year period at least three times for the “Passover” (John 2:13-22; John 5:1-47; John 12: 12-19). You have Jesus during His 3 year public ministry making ‘at least’ five separate trips to Jerusalem from Galilee. Under the law He would have made at least 9 trips to Jerusalem from Galilee. Five are listed but four are not spoken about yet surly He made them as required by the law.
The mileage from Jerusalem to Nazareth and Capernaum and vice versa is: Approximately 120 miles (193 km)! The most direct route would be about 90 miles, however this would be through Samaria. This was an area between Jerusalem and the Galilee area to the north. The Jews as a whole hated the Samaritans and they the Jews. Travel through Samaria was to be avoided because of the mountainous conditions and the racial hatred. The travel route was from Jerusalem down to the Jordan valley ‘the Jericho Road’. Then across the Jordan River into the area know as Perea (part of present day Jordan and once a part of Israel with two and a half tribes of Israel living there). One would then go north on the east side of the River Jordan on up into Decpolis still on the east side of the River Jordan. Just below the Sea of Galilee the route crossed back over the River Jordan and then split. One route went on Northwest to Nazareth the other route passing along the West side of the Sea of Galilee past Tiberias and on through Magdala to Capernaum. Both these routes are about the same mileage.
Mary lived in Nazareth as she grew up. Then went to Bethlehem where Jesus was born then moved to Egypt and then back to raise Jesus in Nazareth. She lived there also during His public ministry as well as traveling with Him. There is no record of her travels after her last trip to Jerusalem with Jesus when He was crucified and arose from the grave then ascended to Heaven.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem and then Mary and Joseph his parents fled with Him to Egypt. Later they traveled back to live in Nazareth where Jesus grew up and lived till the age of 30 as far as we know. During Jesus's public ministry of three years He based His ministry out of the city of Capernaum at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee.
The normal means of transportation was ‘walking’. There is no record that Mary the Mother of Jesus ever rode a donkey! Most of the time travel to the Passover or other Feasts in Jerusalem was done as a family group or town group. The annual trips are what later became know as pilgrimages. Often as one group merged with other groups on the main road the numbers would increase to thousands strung out along the way walking or camping. Every Inn and barn would be full of people overnight with others camping along the road or in the fields. Remember when Jesus was 12 years old He went with His family to Jerusalem and when Mary and Joseph left, Jesus remained behind in the Temple. They traveled for a day before Jesus was missed. They thought He was traveling with other family members in another group. It was two more days before they found Jesus back in Jerusalem in the Temple. This is just a glimpse of life on the Pilgrim roads.
Along the roads there were no toilet facilities, water or other travel needs. Life was tuff in those days for the traveler. In the summer time the heat could reach up to 120 F. and in the winter there is often snow along that route. The way included mountains, valleys, rivers, desert and wilderness. There were bandits and killers hiding along the wayside. For those who could afford it a donkey was brought along to help carry supplies.
I just gave a minimum of information above. You can research the life on the road at that time for yourself. I encourage you also to check out the mileage listed above and below. This has been a silent subject. Now I want to open this to public research.
Mary the Mother of Jesus!
Mary was probably carried to Jerusalem till she reached 3 years of age. Mary would have walked from Nazareth to Jerusalem and back ‘at least’ once a year from the age of 3 till the Jesus when she may have been about the age of 20. The one way mileage was about 120 (193) each way and thus it would be about 240 miles round trip (386 km). Mary Walking: 240 miles (386 km) per year from Nazareth to Jerusalem round trip x 17 years = 4,080 miles (6,565 km)!
After she conceived by the Holy Spirit of God she ‘walked’ traveled from Nazareth to south of Jerusalem where Elizabeth her cousin was pregnant with John the Baptist (130 miles, 209 km). She then ‘walked’ traveled back to Nazareth (130 miles, 209 km). Then with Joseph she ‘walked’ traveled back south of Jerusalem to Bethlehem (130 miles, 209 km). During all this walking travel of 390 miles (627 km) Mary ‘was’ with Child!
Mary, Joseph and Jesus must have lived in Bethlehem for about two years. Jesus was taken at least twice to the Temple in Jerusalem by Mary and Joseph for Circumcision and then again for Him to be ‘presented to the Lord’. (Luke 2:21-24) Let us count these two visits to Jerusalem for a total of 25 miles Mary walked.
With Herod the King seeking to kill Jesus an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and he was told to flee to Egypt and they lived there till the death of Herod. Then he was told again by an angel to return to Israel and they came to live in Nazareth. (Matthew 2:13-23) The normal mileage from Bethlehem down to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, through Gaza across the Sinai Desert and into Egypt to the Pyramids along the Nile would be about 350 miles (563 km). Mary traveled with the infant baby Jesus at about the age of two for 350 miles (563 km) through the desert.
Mary, Joseph and child Jesus at about the age of 4 or 5 walked (traveled) from Egypt across the desert past Gaza and Joppa along the Mediterranean Sea to Nazareth. Mary walked about 400 miles (643 km) from Egypt to Nazareth with Jesus and Joseph.
Living in Nazareth Mary would have gone at least once a year to the Temple in Jerusalem and back. This would surely have been at Passover or at least one of the Temple festivals. Jesus begins His public ministry at about the age of 30. Let us say they came back to Nazareth when Jesus was 5. For 25 years, Mary would have made round trips to and from Jerusalem once a year. Mary walked 240 miles (386 km) round trip from Nazareth to Jerusalem for 25 years, this = 25 x 240 = 6,000 miles (9655 km)!
During the public ministry we find Mary in Cana with Jesus. (John 2:1-11) Mary was with Jesus in His ministry (Matt.12: 46-47; Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19)She was present as Jesus was crucified. (John 19:25-27) The disciple John was asked by Jesus to take care of Mary. (John 19: 27) Mary stayed to live with the early believers in Jerusalem. (Acts 1:14) We do not know the full extent of her travels with Jesus during this three year period but she surely went to the Passover three times, traveled to Cana round trip (12 miles, 19 km) and Capernaum round trip from Nazareth (60 miles, 96 km). The three Passovers including a one way from Nazareth to Jerusalem = 240 x 2 = 720 + 120 (one way to Jerusalem) + 72 = 912 miles (1,467 km). Mary walked at least 912 miles (1,467 km) during the 3-year public ministry of Jesus.
Total miles walked by Mary the Mother of Jesus!
4,080 Nazareth to Jerusalem and return. (Age 3 till 20)
390 While with Child.
25 From Bethlehem to Jerusalem twice.
350 Bethlehem to Egypt.
400 Egypt to Nazareth.
6,000 From Jesus age 5 till 30.
912 During the public ministry of Jesus.
* Total: 12,187 Miles (19,612 km) Mary the Mother of Jesus Walked by the time she was about 50 years of age!
The distance around the world at the equator is 24,901.55 miles (40,074 km).
This means the Mary the Mother of Jesus Walked almost ‘HALF’ the distance around the world!
An average of 20 miles (32 km) a day on all her journeys would mean that Mary spent at least 609 days and nights on the road in her life! This is a total of One Year and 244 days on the road in her life!
How far did Jesus Walk!
At the age of about two Jesus would have been carried by Mary and Joseph from Bethlehem across the desert to Egypt the 350 miles that they traveled. However as a 4 or 5-year-old child He would have ‘walked’ from Egypt across the Sinai Desert and on to Nazareth. Jesus walked from Egypt to Nazareth for a total of about 400 miles!
Every devout religious male Jew was to be at least ‘three’ times a year at Jerusalem. “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel”. (Exodus 34: 23)
Please study the scriptures and notes toward the end of this article!
During the early years of Jesus from 5 to 12 Joseph would have gone to the required 3 festivals each year. I believe I can say with confidence that Jesus as a devout Jewish boy would have attended these with Joseph. It was required for every ‘man’ after the age of 12 or 13 however you count it.
Going from Nazareth to Jerusalem ‘at least’ three times a year for the Passover from the age of 5 till the age 30 when He begin His public ministry. This is 240 miles (386 km) round trip. Jesus walked from Nazareth to Jerusalem and back at least 3 times a year during this 25-year period. That would be 3 x 240 miles, which is 720 miles (1,158 km). 720 x 25 = 18,000 miles (28,967 km)
Before Jesus public ministry He walked at least 18,400 miles!
Jesus started out from Nazareth and traveled to the wilderness of Judea. While there He was with John the Baptist. Jesus was also baptized and tempted of the Devil. Then Jesus went to Galilee and was in Capernaum and Cana. This would be one round trip of at least 240 miles (386 km). (John 1:19-28 through John 2:12)
Next Jesus goes from Galilee to Jerusalem and returns to Galilee. (John 2:13- through 4:54) this is another 240 miles (386 km).
Back to Jerusalem (John 5:1-47) and return to Galilee for another 240 miles (386 km). Jesus is next again in Jerusalem for the ‘Feast of Booths’ (John 7:2) and back for another 240 miles (386 km). There is the ‘Feast of Dedication’ that Jesus attended for another round trip of 240 miles (386 km). Then Jesus does a final walk from Galilee to Jerusalem to be crucified. (Luke 17:11) This is 120 miles (193 km). As stated earlier and in the studies at the end of this article Jesus would have made at least 9 trips to Jerusalem and return during this three year period for Feast. Five are listed and four are not. Therefore one must add the additional four trips for a total of 240 miles x 4 = 960 miles (1,544 km).
Total Miles from Nazareth or Capernaum to Jerusalem and return is 2,280 miles (3,669 km) during His 3 year ministry.
Now let’s take a look at the other trips that Jesus would have walked to. Jesus made one circuit trip from Capernaum to Cana and Nazareth and return. (60 miles, 96 km) John 2 1-11
Another circuit trip was to Nain and return to Capernaum. (70 miles, 112 km) Luke 7:11
There is a very long trip by Jesus as He leaves from Capernaum and goes north up into Phoenicia to the cities of Tyre and Sidon (present day Lebanon). Then He loops back south around the Sea of Galilee and into the area of Decapolis and back north to Capernaum. Depending on which way Jesus got to Tyre and Sidon, the mileage would be about 85 miles (136 km) north of Capernaum. Then count about 120 miles (193 km) back around the Sea of Galilee to Decapolis then back to Capernaum would be about 50 miles (80 km). Mark 7:24-37 and Matt. 15:21-39 On this one trip Jesus walked about 255 miles (410 km)!