One of the many special places in Israel to experience is the Capernaum shoreline of the Sea of Galilee. Today Capernaum is a well-maintained archaeological site, with its property belonging to the Franciscan Catholics. Back in the days of Jesus, it was the main Galilean town located right on the northwest corner of the lake. It was a busy place. Yet, it was also a special place!
A Special Place
There are several reasons why this is such a special place still today:
- Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John here (Matthew 4). They were fishermen who were asked to leave their profession in order to follow the Master!
- Matthew (Levi) also lived here in Capernaum. He was a port tax collector despise by his fellow Jews. He collected taxes from people sailing into the port here. Yet Jesus called him too!
- Jesus made his “home base” for His Galilean ministry here. For about three years He would have been known by many here. He no doubt enjoyed both sunrises across the lake in the morning (Mark 1:35) and sunsets in the west at evening while sitting on this shoreline.
- Jesus taught here along the shoreline (Matthew 13). Often times Jesus would get into a boat and teach back to the people gathered on the shoreline. His voice would have naturally carried across the water. His message about the kingdom penetrated many hearts here!
- Jesus healed here (Mark 1,2, 5). Jesus healed many in this town. Healing took place in the synagogue and in private homes. I suspect many from this Sea of Galilee region sailed into this shoreline just to get the sick, lame, demonized, and blind to Jesus.
- Jesus sailed back into the port of Capernaum many times. On one occasion (Mark 5) Jesus sailed back “from the other side” (e.g. east side).”
A Place of Transformation
Given all the activity and ministry of Jesus taking place here, it goes without saying that this shoreline was a place of transformation. Just think of all the lives of people changed here! We’re talking about not just the handful of the disciples who lived here and who followed Jesus, but the 1000s upon 1000s of people who heard Jesus teach here and saw Jesus heal here. This shoreline was a busy place for people to gather and consider the kingdom message Jesus was sharing.
No doubt among the people who heard Jesus teach here were those who had no hope, direction, or purpose in life. After all, conditions under Roman bondage made life difficult. This was one reason why so many were interested in what Jesus could offer them. Those who placed their faith in Jesus as Messiah were transformed. Their lives were renewed with purpose and meaning.
Quiet Shoreline Video
Jesus calls each of us to be followers still today! When I sit quietly on the shoreline and see and hear the gentle waves fall upon the rocks, I can imagine Jesus being here. And He still is calling for followers!
Know that Jesus calls you to be a follower too! As you heed the call upon hour heart, transformation, joy, and meaning in life awaits!
Enjoy this quiet video from Capernaum!