Jesus was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth and spent the majority of His ministry based out of Capernaum. This is hard to visually understand, because we’ve all heard these names but don’t really understand the relationship and what it would have been like to travel in those days. We just hop in a car and go.
As we took a boat ride today on the Sea of Galilee it came much more into focus for me. Capernaum was home base for Jesus and His disciples, and was a busy town of approximately 2000 people at the time of Christ.
It was here that Jesus performed many of His miracles and changed the course of world history.
Matthew 4:13-17 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the regioin and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Isaiah had prophesied this was the place the Lord would dwell and as we walked this area I was struck by what it must have been like in those days. These were not major metropolitan areas as we know today, just rural fishing villages, but yet all who lived there had busy lives interacting with each other, and Capernaum was a place of commerce and darkness as the scripture tells us.
Can you imagine how the arrival of the Christ turned their world upside down? Especially those He called to be His disciples. Ordinary, common fishermen would learn from Him and then go into the world to spread Christianity across the planet.
How amazing! What kind of a plan was this? Just like Paul would have never considered how God would use him, neither could those fishermen imagine they would become fisher’s of men.