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"The people which sat in darkness saw great light"

"Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison [see John's Last Days], He departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:12-17 KJV)

Synagogue At Capernaum and Map of Capernaum

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:

"Then began He to upbraid the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! [see Bethsaida and Chorazin] for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." (Matthew 11:20-24 KJV)

The town ended up eventually as a ruin, as it has remained to the present.

Fact Finder: How is The Gospel of The Kingdom of God a "light"?
See In The Light Of God's Word


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