A Year Ago Today – Galilee

March 30, 2011

Mt. of Beattitudes

Jill sitting on the traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount

Close to the height of His popularity, Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, which included the Beatitudes.  It is perhaps the most read of Jesus’ teachings and introducing something more than what the Law of Moses had become.  It moved the focus from things we do – our behavior, to the feelings and motives we have.  If we have correct motives, if we develop the attributes of Christ, our Christian acts will follow – a by-product of who we have become.

So important are these teachings that He delivers it again, this time at the Temple on the American continent. It is very instructive to compare the two accounts. The first delivered by the mortal Jesus and then delivered by the immortal, glorified Christ. Here is a post on that.

We are standing on the porch of a small church build on the location of the Sermon on the Mount.

Traditional site of the Sermon on the Mount

Capernaum – The Town of Jesus

So much happened in Capernaum. Because Jesus was rejected in His home town, Capernaum became His home – it became Church headquarters. Peter lived here with his family and there is even a rock foundation that is said to be the actual house of Peter. A church is now built over that spot but on stilts so you can see Peter’s ancient home.

James and John also lived here and Matthew was called to work here. It was a small fishing village where the mentioned apostles all fished. It was from these shores that they left their nets to follow Jesus.

And the miracles seen in this town were many. The centurion servant’s hand was healed. The man with palsy was lowered through a roof to be healed. The woman with the issue of blood was healed. The man with the withered hand was healed. When Peter retrieves the coin out of the mouth of a fish, it is in Capernaum, and on and on.

It is in this town that Jesus, at the height of his popularity, gives what is known as the Bread of Life Sermon. It was hard for the people to hear. Jesus, in as bold of way as He had thus far, declares himself to be the Son of God – the Messiah.  And “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66)

Jesus, seeing the defection, turns to the apostles and asks if they are going to leave as well. Peter’s answer is classic, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

It was also here that the apostles, after all was said and done including the crucifixion, the resurrection, the training and the ascension, not knowing what to do next, decided to “go a fishing.” (John 21:3) As they fish through the night with no success, the Savior appears, makes them breakfast and calls to them. John says, “Hey, isn’t that Christ?”. Peter turns, looks and then dives into the Galilee, not willing to wait the time it would take to row to shore. What a wonderful scene. It was then that Christ had a somewhat painful interview with Peter. “Lovest thou me?” (John 21:15-17) Of course he did. Christ responds to not just Peter but to all of us, “Feed my Sheep.” (John 21:15-17) I love Peter and his home town of Capernaum.

Foundations from homes in Capernaum.

Catholic Church build over the traditional site of Peters home.

Synagogue in Capernaum. Other black stone are foundations from Jesus’ time.

To be continued…

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