Summary: Capernaum – an unexpected entrance – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com
(1). Capernaum Facts & Trivia
(2). The People Involved.
• The friends.
• The paralysed man.
• The Scribes and Pharisees.
• In 1885 Anne Isabella Ritchie, came up with the phrase ;
• "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; teach him how to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime,"
• Wise words;
• But as always there is always some wit who has an alternative take on those words:
“Cook a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
But teach a man to fish and you get rid of him for the whole weekend.”
“Teach a man to fish,
and you can sell him a ton of accessories…rod, line, bait, keep net etc.”
“Teach a man to fish and you've fed him for a lifetime ...
unless, of course, he doesn't like sushi -- then you also need to teach him how to cook.“
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he will store bait in the fridge.”
“Teach a man to get a job, and he can buy fish at the shop.”
• TRANSITION: Those alternatives are of course tongue-in-cheek.
• Now in our travels with Jesus we have arrived at Capernaum;
• Capernaum was a fishing village with a population of about 1,500 people.
(1). Capernaum Facts & Trivia
• Capernaum was a fishing village established during the time of the Hasmoneans,
• You can see a reconstruction of it in the photograph.
• Capernaum was located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
• It is located below sea level, and is 10 miles (16 kilometres) from Tiberius.
• This next photo shows the type of view Jesus would have looked out at,
• The topography, the lay of the land remains very much the same.
• The name Capernaum comes from two Hebrew words;
• ‘Kapar’, meaning village (It was of sufficient size to be a large town or city)
• And the name ‘Nahum’ (naham), meaning either sorrow, repentance or comfort.
• (and as far as we know nothing to do with the prophet Nahum).
• Capernaum is not mentioned in the Old Testament;
• Because archaeological evidence indicates;
• The town did not begin until the 2nd century B.C.
• Capernaum was a large Galilean fishing village and busy trading centre.
• The main trade route from Syria to Egypt went through Galilee,
• And Capernaum acted as a tax station;
• It was here Levi (Matthew who became a disciple) had his tax-booth;
• (Matthew chapter 9 verse 9).
• It was a good station to be at, besides regular taxes paid by residents;
• Travellers had to stop, present their imported products to the tax official,
• And pay their taxes,
• Herod Antipas kept a military garrison of Roman soldiers at Capernaum;
• Under the command of a Roman centurion.
• Peter, Andrew, James and John also lived in Capernaum;
• It was here Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law.
• And in Capernaum that Jesus called them to became his disciples.
• The ancient city of Capernaum was abandoned about a thousand years ago or more,
• And was rediscovered by archaeologists beginning in the 1800s.
• In modern times, it is called Kefar Nahum (Hebrew) and Talhum (Arabic).
• The Bible tells us that a Roman centurion built a synagogue in Capernaum for the Jews;
• (Luke chapter 7 verses 1-5).
• The remains of the basalt synagogue has been discovered by archaeologists.
• And it is a popular stop on the tourist trail.
• The ruins of this building, are among the oldest synagogues in the world,
• The synagogue appears to have been built around the 4th or 5th century.
• Beneath the foundation of this synagogue lies another foundation;
• So you have two ancient synagogues built one over the other
• Many experts suggest that this earlier one;
• Is the foundation of a synagogue from the 1st century,
• Perhaps the one mentioned in the Gospels.
• After Jesus was rejected and forced out of Nazareth;
• Capernaum became his “own city.”
• Maybe he lived in a house as pictured in the slide,
• Matthew chapter 4 verse 13 tells us that Jesus moved from Nazareth to live in Capernaum.
• This implies that he either purchased a house or shared a house with someone.
• In either case there would be a house in Capernaum that could be referred to as "his,"
• They have found ruins of an old house;
• A simple first-century A.D. home that may have been the house of Peter,
• The home of Jesus or any of the thousands of other residents!