|Location of Capernaum (map from biblos.com)|
According to Beck, Jesus' move from Nazareth, a secluded valley town, to Capernaum, a town near trade routes, expanded the reach of Jesus' gospel message.2 More people would hear Jesus and carry knowledge of His message to more of the land. Jesus' ministry in this region of Galilee was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Isaiah predicts that this region will see a great light, though they live in darkness (Isa. 9:1-2). Matthew, in his gospel (Mt. 4:12-17), states that Jesus' move to Capernaum and His ministry in the surrounding area is a direct fulfillment of Isaiah's aforementioned prophecy. This area was influenced by spiritual darkness, but Jesus brought to it the light of His truth.
|Peter's House below the Octagon Church|
The primary structure found at Capernaum are the ruins of the 4th century synagogue built of white
|The Synagogue at Capernaum|
When we first entered the synagogue, our tour guide, Boaz Shalgi from EDI Travel, requested the group sit down while he explained something of which I had never thought. Most rabbis during the first century did not accumulate a following until they were older and well respected. Jesus was only 30 years old and He had disciples learning under Him. Even the crowds were following Him. Not only was this little known teacher from Nazareth gaining a following, He was comparatively young and just starting ministry. The religious leaders of the time were frustrated and jealous. You can watch Boaz teaching on this subject here.
|The First Century Foundation|
Next Stop: Magdala
1 George W. Knight, The Holy Land: An Illustrated Guide to Its History, Geography, Culture and Holy Sites (Ulrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, 2011), 250.
2 John A. Beck, Discovery House Bible Atlas (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 2015), 246-247.