Saturday, November 21, 2009

Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee

Capernaum was Jesus' home away from Nazareth, and the heart of Jesus' Galilean ministry. He spent some two years there, teaching and performing miracles. Situated on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum was the home of the two sets of fishing brothers whom Jesus called to be apostles--Peter and Andrew, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

One of the most impressive of Jesus' miracles performed in Capernaum was the healing--at a distance--of the Roman Centurion's servant.
"This man deserves to have you do this," the Jewish elders said to Jesus,
"because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." Imagine my excitement, then, at being able to visit what is the site of the very synagogue which the centurion had helped to build.
Virtually adjacent to t
he synagogue is another much visited site in Capernaum the home where Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law of her fever.

On the way out, there are a row of columns taken from the synagogue. On one of the columns is an Aramaic inscription dedicated to "Alpheus the son of Zebedah, the son of John," who had contributed to the building of the second synagogue from the second or perhaps fourth century. It is altogether possible that there is profound significance in the names "John" and "Zebedah."

Given the location of Capernaum and the fact that family names were passed down for generations, these men may have been descendants of the apostle John, the son of Zebedee.

It brings
me back to a faith "built upon the foundation of the apostles, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."

If that heritage of faith doesn't stir me to pick up the torch and run with it, nothing will!

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