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by Wayne Blank
Capernaum was located near the northwestern shore of the Sea Of Galilee. It has today been identified with the ruins called Tel Hum, about 3 miles / 5 kilometers from where the Jordan River enters the Sea of Galilee in the north. It was on the major road between Damascus up in Syria, and points southward throughout central Israel and beyond.
Capernaum became the central point of the ministry of Jesus Christ, and many of His miracles occurred in or near the city, including numerous healings of believing people: Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15), the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-7), a paralyzed man (Matthew 9:2,7), and the casting out of demons (Mark 1:23-27). The miraculous feeding of the 4,000 from only 7 loaves of bread and a few fish occurred nearby (Mark 8:6-9), as did many other miracles.
Jesus sometimes taught at the Synagogue there on the Sabbath (Mark 1:21). That same Synagogue of Capernaum has today been discovered and partially restored by archaeologists (in photograph above).
Amazingly, as happened with Nazareth, the people of Capernaum eventually began to resent and oppose Him. They saw the many great miracles with their own two eyes, they heard His very words of truth and wisdom with their own two ears, but they refused to repent and believe. In doing so, the people of Capernaum sealed their own fate, as spoken by Jesus Christ Himself in denouncing the cities who witnessed His miracles but who did not repent:
"And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." (Matthew 11:23-24 RSV).
The town ended up eventually as a ruin, as it has remained to the present.
Fact Finder: Did Jesus begin calling Peter, James, John and the other
original twelve apostles (see The Twelve Apostles and What Happened To The Apostles?) before, or after, He moved to Capernaum?