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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 people of different nationalities, religions, and cultures. 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 travelling by boat.

Capernaum has another name, “The town of Jesus”, because he ministered in that village more 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 (Mt 4:13).

After preaching in the synagogues of nearby villages for some days, Jesus returned to Peter’s house at Capernaum. Jesus was in high demand there because of the miracles he had previously done. Because of the wide popularity Jesus gained, especially because of the miracles he performed, the news of Jesus’ arrival spread fast in Capernaum. People there eagerly waited for his return, as is clear from Simon Peter’s words to Jesus, “Everyone is looking for you” (Mk 1:37).

Capernaum received more favors from Jesus than any other city. Out of his twelve apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew had residences in Capernaum. Jesus often stayed at Peter’s house in Capernaum. He did most of his preaching in that city. His famous and ever influential Sermon on the Mount happened in Capernaum. “When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their Scribes” (Mt 7:28-29).

Just as Capernaum was known as Jesus’ own city (Mt 9:1), people considered Peter’s house as Jesus’ home because that is where Jesus stayed while he was in Capernaum. Peter’s mother- in-law, whom Jesus had healed before (Mk 1:29-31), might have been hospitable to him and his disciples.

Out of his 12 apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew were from Capernaum. It had roads that led to different cities and so it was a hub where Jesus could meet many people, including the gentiles. Though Capernaum was a small village, it was part of Galilee, where many Jews lived. Despite the preaching and miracles of Jesus in Capernaum, that city greatly lacked faith and was thus cursed by Jesus later (Mt 11:23).


Jesus made Capernaum the centre of his public ministry because it had some favorable conditions to him.
1. Since Capernaum is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, there were fishermen, farmers, and travelers from neighboring cities. So, Jesus had access to the Jews and Gentiles there.
2. The Jews in Capernaum were more open to the preaching of Jesus because of their multicultural background whereas the Jews in Jerusalem, Judaea, and Nazareth were conservative and hostile to him.
3. Jesus could travel easily from Capernaum to the neighboring cities around the Sea of Galilee by walking on the seashore or sailing by boat.
4. Out of his 12 apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew were from Peter offered his house, which was close to the synagogue, for Jesus to stay.
5. Besides preaching in the synagogue and the house of Peter, he could also preach on the shore of the Sea of Galilee to accommodate the enormous crowds that came to meet him.


The documented miracles of Jesus at Capernaum are:
1. Jesus healed a royal official’s son at Capernaum from a distance in Cana. With that, the official and his household believed in Jesus (Jn 4:46-54).
2. Jesus helped his future disciples with a miraculous catch of fish at the Sea of Galilee (Lk 5:1-11).
3. He healed a leper after the sermon on the mountain (Mt 8:1-4).
4. He healed a centurion’s servant here (Mt 8:5-13).
5. Jesus healed a man with an unclean spirit in the synagogue at Capernaum on a Sabbath. “All were amazed and asked one another, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him. His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee” (Mk 1:27-28).
6. Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law at his house in Capernaum (Mt 8:14-15).
7. He healed many others on the same day. “When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick” (Mt 8:16).
8. Jesus healed a paralytic whom four people lowered down from the roof into a crowded room where he was preaching (Mk 2:1-12). “They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this’” (v 12).
9. Jesus healed a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years while he was going to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter (Mk 5:25-34).
10. He raised Jairus’ daughter from her deathbed (Lk 8:40-56).
11. Jesus healed two blind men who, after their healing, “went out and spread word of him through all that land” (Mt 9:27-31).
12. He healed a mute demoniac. “The crowds were amazed and said, ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel’” (Mt 9:32-34).
13. Jesus healed a man with a withered hand in the synagogue on a Sabbath (Mt 12:9-13).
14. He paid temple tax by asking Peter, “Go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you” (Mt 17:24-27).

The miracles of Jesus in Capernaum were well known in other areas. The people in Nazareth demanded of Jesus, “Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum” (Lk 4:23). Despite all these miracles and communication from Jesus, the Jewish leaders in Capernaum found fault with him for violating the Sabbath, accused him of blasphemy, and blamed him for “casting out demons with the help of Beelzebul.” Though the public in Capernaum knew Jesus and his mighty deeds, the Jewish leaders misguided the people against him.

The cities that Jesus blamed for unbelief later declined from their prosperity. They are even now ruins, archeological remains, and tourist sites. Tiberias, another city on the lakeshore of Galilee, which was not included in this “woe” statement, is now well advanced than the other three.


Jesus exalted Capernaum on the earth during his public ministry by:
1. Making it his primary hub for his ministry.
2. He preached more in Capernaum than in other areas of Galilee.
3. Jesus performed a majority of his miracles there.
4. People of other areas considered Capernaum with high esteem because of the prolonged presence of Jesus there.
5. Capernaum was financially and materially prosperous.
6. The city was known as the “Town of Jesus”.
7. Jesus chose his many disciples and apostles from Capernaum.

Because of the privileged position Capernaum enjoyed during the ministry of Jesus, the public might have assumed that God would exalt the city in heaven as well. However, the response of the inhabitants was negative. “It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners’” (Mt 11:16-19). Hence, the outcome of the mission of Jesus in Capernaum was negative because of the people veering in the opposite direction. Thus, instead of a high rank in heaven, they made themselves worthy of a downfall into the netherworld.


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.

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