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Dr. Richard Van Heukelum | Phoenix, Arizona
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Capernaum – Opportunity Squandered
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2014
Posted by: Word for the World | more..
93,460+ views | 1,640+ clicks
This morning, our bus will meander the narrow and winding roads in the hills overlooking the waters of the Sea of Galilee. At one moment we’ll enjoy a view of the entire Sea, than we’ll see the remain of a fishing village from the days of Christ and then we’ll see the cultivated land still growing tomatoes. Then our driver will enter a drive to the ancient site of Capernaum, one of the best preserved sites from the ministry of Jesus.

Known as Kfar Nahum (Hebrew for hometown of Nahum), Capernaum was a significant city in the day of Christ. It was located at the convergence of trade routes with a Roman custom house collecting taxes. It was also on the Sea of Galilee, closely connected to other fishing villages and noted for its agriculture. Capernaum had it all.

Our minds will naturally link Capernaum to Jesus. In fulfillment of prophecy, Jesus made it His headquarters for ministry (Is. 9:1; Mt. 4:13-16). It was in Capernaum or within a short walking distance Jesus taught the sermon on the mount and the 5000 from a boat. It was in Capernaum He “healed many who were sick of various diseases and cast out many demons” (Mk. 1:34). Let me list some:

• Healed a man with a withered hand (Mk 1:21ff)

• Healed Peter’s mother in law (Lk 4:38f)

• Healed a nobleman’s son (Jn 4:46ff)

• Healed a centurion’s servant (Mt 8:8ff)

• Healed a bed-ridden man lowered through a roof (Mk 2:2ff)

• Healed a woman with a flow of blood (Lk 8:43ff)

• Cast out demons from 2 demon possessed men (Mt 12:13 and Mt 12:22ff)

• Paid the temple tax by coin from a fish (Mt.17:24ff)

• Raised the daughter of the synagogue leader (Lk 8:40ff)

Yet after we tour the site with the house of Peter and an ancient synagogue, we will sit under a shade tree in a quiet garden and reflect on the city that had it all. To Capernaum Christ said: And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades.For if the might works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day” Mt. 11:23 (ESV)

What will God bring to mind? I suspect we’ll be thinking “to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Lk. 12:48). Capernaum stood in greater condemnation because it had received the greater revelation.

But I trust we will also add this. It is easy to think that others will believe in Christ if only they could see a miracle or sense His power or hear Him teach. Capernaum teaches us that the key to belief is not overwhelming evidence or miraculous power. If we could do a miracle before others, it may impress and wow but it has no power to lead to faith. The problem is not the lack of evidence, it’s a hardened heart that only God can convince.

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