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Why did Jesus move from Nazareth to Capernaum?


Why did Jesus move from Nazareth to Capernaum?

After Jesus’ baptism, both John the Baptist and Jesus preached and baptized people at the same time for a while at River Jordan (Jn 3:22-24). Jesus initially centered his ministry in his hometown of Nazareth. However, he later moved to Capernaum that was about 14 miles northeast of Nazareth at the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. There were multiple reasons for Jesus to move from Nazareth to Capernaum.

1. Because of the Messianic claims of Jesus, the people of Nazareth, including his relatives and friends, rejected him, and even threatened to kill him (Lk 4:16-30). So, he was seeking a place of acceptance for his gospel.

2. King Herod Antipas’ arrest of John the Baptist was another reason for Jesus’ move to Capernaum (Jn 4:12). Jesus wanted to move farther away from Herod’s attention because Nazareth was close to Sepphoris, the provincial capital of Herod Antipas. Jesus had to continue his mission and his sacrifice was to take place in Jerusalem that was beyond the juridical boundary of Herod.

3. The early disciples of Jesus like Andrew and John, whom John the Baptist had introduced to Jesus (Jn 1:36-40), and their brothers Simon Peter and James were fishermen at Capernaum, and they might have invited Jesus to their town for his stay and preaching.

4. Capernaum in Galilee was a suitable place for Jesus’ ministry because it was a populated village compared to the fewer inhabitants in Nazareth. Capernaum included the Jews and Gentiles who were farmers, fishermen, or travelers. Unlike the conservatives of Nazareth and leaders in Jerusalem who opposed Jesus’ message and could not accept him as the Messiah, the people of Capernaum were open-minded and receptive to the revolutionary ideas of Jesus. Hence, Capernaum was the better place to centralize his ministry.

 


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