Locations, like Caria, are an extremely important factor in our lives. We describe a location where we plan to meet with others. And we describe a location when we tell a story in order to help our loved ones picture the perfect setting. But, most importantly, we choose “the perfect spot” for the major events in our lives based on the location.
At the same time, people usually pick a location that they know or that makes them safe. When reading the Bible or trying to understand what our pastor is saying, it is important to put the location first.
Thinking about the location, you get a better understanding of the events that took place. And you start understanding the deeper meaning behind God’s intentions. Remember where Jesus was crucified. The place of His death is pictured as grim, a dark place filled with nothing but death, pain, and grief.
But, when He rose, it became a hopeful place. It became His place. He chose that particular spot to prove to humankind that He is indeed special. After He was resurrected, His followers had no reason to be sad anymore or feel pain, for He proved that location is special. The ground on which Jesus died became Holy, an iconic location for all Christians.
Where Is Caria Located?
Caria, or Karia as some people call it, is a location mentioned in the Bible. It is said that Paul and the apostles crossed Caria while they were on their missionary journeys. According to the Bible, this was a country “in the Southwest of Asia Minor which extended on the North to Lydia. On the East to Phrygia, on the South to Lycia, and the West to the Aegean Sea.”
It was one of several places to which the Romans of 139-138 B.C. sent letters favoring the Jews. By doing so, they were showing that its population was mixed. (Maccabees 15:23)
You might be confused when you read certain passages in the Bible and you see they mention “Asia” or “Asia Minor.” First, know that the “Asia” that even Saint Paul is referring to is not the actual continent that you now know of. Back in those days, the world was still barely explored. And believe it or not, they did not have any telephones to text each other whenever someone discovered something new.
Most of the time, people who left “in search of new land” never came back. And it probably didn’t help that they did not have cars or motorized vehicles.
Caria in the Bible is where Turkey is now. In actuality, whenever you see “Asia” or “Asia Minor,” remember that Greeks and the other European people started referring to all lands east of Europe in this manner. Asia is mentioned in Acts 20:18-25.
Why Should You Pay Attention to Locations in the Bible?
Everyone knows the expression “right place, right time.” The Bible is no exception. We can’t forget that, as humans, we were created by God to mirror His appearance. He has created His children to live the lives that He wanted us to. For this reason, it is crucial to understand how important location is.
It is even mentioned in the Scripture as one of the principles that “to receive God’s provision, you need to be in the right place.” Time and place are important to God. Thanks to His will, we even get to experience certain things.
In 1 Kings 17, verses 1-4, we see the following phrase “Get away from here and turn eastward and hide by the Brook Cherith. Which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook. And I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
The lesson here is that God specifically tells Elijah that He has made some arrangements and somewhere in the east, by the Brook Cherith, is the place where Elijah can eat and drink. And that place only, not in the South, not in the North. That’s because God had distinctive plans, and the location was extremely important to Him.
The ultimate lesson that locations teach Christians everywhere is that God never leaves us unattended. He never wants us to find ourselves where we don’t belong. Even in the darkest hours, He always knows why we are meant to be where we are. Even in the darkest place, you should never be scared, as He has your back and knows exactly why you are there. Trust Him with all of your heart, always.
Why Did Paul Sail to the City of Caria?
Although it is never specifically mentioned why Paul and the apostles sailed through Caria, one thing is for certain. It was God’s will. Sometimes people don’t understand why they are going through certain emotions or what exactly made them choose a certain location.
The answer, like always, is God. Caria is important to Christians to this day because it was the first sign in history that shows us the Romans acknowledged and accepted the Jews. You could say that Judaism was considered a religion when Christianity was considered a cult.
The Jews were partially accepted because, most of the time, they were given a special dispensation. They were the only people in the Roman Empire excused from sacrificing to Rome’s god because the Jews had this “ancient book” that specifically told them not to.
Therefore, if a Jew refused to sacrifice an animal to a Roman god, he could prove that he wasn’t out to insult Rome. Rather, he could point to the Ten Commandments, which showed he was warned to acknowledge no god but the God of Abraham.
We might not find so much information on a few locations that are mentioned in the Bible, like Caria. Still, it is important to acknowledge their existence and, at least, try to understand that God wanted us to know about these places and immerse ourselves properly in the stories told by the Holy Book.