CAPERNAUM

On the shore of the Sea of Galilee sits the old city of Capernaum. This became the adopted home of Simon Peter, and also a temporary home to Jesus. It seems that Jesus stayed here during a good deal of his Galilean ministry. He likely stayed in the home of Peter, his wife, and her mother. You will recall, I hope, that one of the miracles of Jesus involved healing Peter’s mother in law. That happened in Capernaum. Two natable features of the remains of the old city are what is believed to be Peter’s house and a very old synagogue. The house is made of basalt stones and shows signs of being added onto in such a way that indicates it served as a meeting place or church. A Catholic church on stilts stands over the old basalt walls of the house today. You could find a picture on line if you simply search out Simon Peter’s house in Capernaum. The synagogue ruins are from a very old structure that is built on the foundation of the one that the noble centurion of Capernaum paid to have constructed. This same Centurion is the one whose servant Jesus healed at Capernaum. The synagogue ruler’s daughter from this village, Jesus raised from the dead. Sitting in the ruins of that old synagogue, I was moved to consider that Jesus surely taught in the very spot where we were gathered. The woman with an issue of blood who touched the garment of Jesus and was healed lived in this city. Here the paralytic was lowered through the roof and healed. Two blind men were healed here. Do you get the idea? No wonder Jesus warned the city that their unbelief in the face of these mighty miracles would bring them down. Today there is only a boat dock and ruins on the sight of the city. The church is populated only by people on pilgrimage and the ruins are visited by tourists and pilgrims. The city that bustled in the days of the ministry of Jesus is gone. This should warn us all about ignoring or denying the work of the Lord.

Dan Wooldridge

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