My visit to Capernaum, the setting for part of this Sunday’s scripture

March 4, 2016

This Sunday I’m preaching on John 4:43-54, which narrates Jesus’ return to Galilee, after his successful stay in Samaria. A royal official—who likely worked for Herod Antipas—came from Capernaum to Cana to ask Jesus to heal his son. His son was dying, 16 miles away in Capernaum, when the official met Jesus.

Capernaum was Jesus’ home base during most of his three-year ministry. Peter’s house was there, and its ruins are preserved underneath a Roman Catholic church. The house is the place where Jesus heals many, including Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-34 and parallels).

We also see Jesus teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37; John 6:59). The ruins of the 4th-century synagogue, built on top of the synagogue where Jesus taught and worshiped, have been restored as much as possible. The ruins of original synagogue, however, are located underneath these ruins.

In the photos below, the original synagogue’s walls are distinguished by darker stones underneath the lighter-colored stones of the more recent walls.

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