Last time we focused on the beauty of this Biblical site. It is close to the sea of Galilee. It is actually right on it. Peter and Andrew probably moved here from Bethsaida where it says they were born, to live and work right on the water. This is an unlikely place that the Messiah and Savior of the world would be spending His time. Capernaum is about 85 miles north of Jerusalem.
Certainly, anyone focused on religious matters wouldn’t be hanging out with the fishermen in the country. Jesus encountered Andrew before he encounters him again in Capernaum. Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist and John told them who Jesus was (John 1:35-42), but later on Jesus was actually in their hometown. He was walking along the beach and asked them to follow Him.
What on earth was Jesus doing all the way north? He is even further away from Jerusalem than where He grew up in Nazareth. It is funny how when we as people desire to be significant and make a name for ourselves we make a decision to go to this place or that, and we want to be noticed. But, the Bible seems to speculate that that when we are excellent at something, we will do it in front of and for significant people (Proverbs 22:29). Those people will find us when we are that excellent. Jesus knew that and didn’t need to be close to Jerusalem. At least not yet.
Besides, the scriptures even said that Capernaum would see a great light. 700 years before Jesus was walking around in the area, Isaiah told us something important would happen there (Isaiah 9:1-2). Matthew being from the area liked to quoted this verse for us:
12Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
15“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned (Matthew 4:12-16).”
Just like Jesus’ Crazy Cousin John/, Jesus starts doing His work out away from the religious centers and great things happen. We see people being raised from the dead, sick people are healed, demons are cast out, and countless other miracles happen in Capernaum and around the sea of Galilee. But, with great blessing comes great responsibility. Oddly enough, Jesus tells them about the impending judgment on this city.
“20Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you (Matthew 11:20-24).” (See Also Luke 10:13-16).”
So, Sodom has something on this place? These people had something very special happen here, but it didn’t lead many of them to repentance. That doesn’t mean that some of our greatest saints didn’t come from this area, and that the ministry of Jesus doesn’t really take off here. But, it does mean that there was some kind of lack of repentance, that caused them to fall under this judgement.
It is kind of funny how we think we will be protected if some of us are righteous even if people all around us are not. The local stone is black because of the volcanic ash of the area. The area doesn’t get rebuilt and the prosperity some of the other biblical sites have in the way of tourism isn’t here. Where are the restaurants, card shops, street vendors, souvenirs, places to stay? Jesus lived here! But, none of that is here now, because What Happens in Capernaum, Stays in Capernaum! Jesus even said so!
See Also Other Posts Israel Trip
Crazy Cousin John Part 2: https://chaplapreneur.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/crazy-cousin-john-part-2-israel-trip/
The Miracle of the Dead Sea Scrolls: https://chaplapreneur.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/the-miracle-of-the-dead-sea-scrolls/
Capernaum Not Just a Word! https://chaplapreneur.wordpress.com/2019/07/30/capernaum-not-just-a-word/