We read in Mathew 4:13 that, “… leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali.”
Nestled on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum was a commercial and social hub during the first century, serving the local Galilean residents as well as many people traveling the pilgrim road leading from the Mediterranean Coast to inland Asia. It was this Jewish first century town that became the hub for the ministry of Jesus for over three years of intense activity throughout the Galilee and beyond, teaching, healing and working miracles to show the nearness and the heart of the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the Hebrew language, the name Capernaum is a construct of two separate words: “K’FAR NAHUM,” which actually means “VILLAGE of COMFORT.” How fitting it is that the Messiah Jesus, when it was time to set up a permanent camp and establish a headquarters for His Galilean ministry chose the “Village of Comfort” as the launching pad for the “Message of Comfort,” the gospel of our salvation, the good news of God’s merciful provisions for a fallen world.
Every pilgrim we host here in Israel gets to visit Capernaum, examine the ancient archeological finds of the original town (including Peter’s home), and ponder the marvel of having the Son of God Himself walk among us here on earth.
Our prayer is that each visitor will take home with them not only the sites and sounds of ancient Capernaum, the Jewish first century town on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, but also, and even more so, take with them the ever present and unending COMFORT that the Lord Himself freely offers to all those who lean on Him and trust Him with all their hearts.
See you in Israel.