Capernaum is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Though a small village, Capernaum was part of Galilee, where most Jews lived. It had favorable factors like water for fishing, fertile land for agriculture, and a hub of international trade routes, especially connecting Egypt and Damascus by the ancient highway “Via Maris.” Since Capernaum had roads that led to faraway cities, Jesus could meet all kinds of people. The trade routes helped Jesus to spread his message and his fame to all the neighboring regions. Jesus could also travel easily from Capernaum to neighboring cities around the Sea of Galilee by walking on the seashore or traveling by boat.
Capernaum has another name, “The town of Jesus” because he ministered in that village than anywhere else. Though Jesus grew up in Nazareth, when he preached there, his own people rejected him and even attempted to throw him down from a hill (Lk 4:28-30). He escaped that assassination attempt and moved to Capernaum to make it his base for preaching and serving the disadvantaged.
Out of his twelve apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew were from Capernaum. Notwithstanding his intensive preaching and miracles, that city lacked faith, causing Jesus to deride it later (Mt 11:23).
The ministry of Jesus and his disciples was a blessing for the people in Capernaum. Despite the miraculous favors they received from Jesus, the conversion was less among them. In the modern age, many leave the church and lead a worldly life. Our faith in Jesus is the precious treasure we have to keep and make use of for the building of the kingdom of God.