Jesus spent the beginning of his ministry in the northern region of Galilee, named for the Sea of Galilee which is the largest body of fresh water in the Middle East.
After Jesus’ temptation and a tough homecoming to Nazareth, Jesus made his home in Capernaum (Matthew 4:13).
We visited the site of Capernaum, a town mentioned many times in the scripture. For example, Mark 1:21-34 tells of Jesus casting an evil spirit out of a man in the synagogue. He then visits the home of Peter’s mother-in-law, whom he heals of a fever. After the sabbath ended that day, the whole town gathered at that house, bringing the sick to be healed.
The remains of the synagogue still stand in Capernaum. The building that currently stands is built upon the foundations of the synagogue that stood in Jesus’ day. Some of the foundation is still visible.
What is striking to me is that the house of Peter’s mother-in-law is mere yards away. The remains of a first century insula, or common family home, still stand. An octagonal church was built over the site by the Byzantines. A modern church is built over this site today. It is unique in style, built high above the ground with glass in the floor to see the stones of the house on which crowds stood as received healing from the Lord.
We visited the remains of the town of Korazim, spelled Chorazin in the New Testament. It was one of the three cities or villages where Jesus taught, known as the “Gospel Triangle” (also Capernaum and Bethsaida). Built in the Sea of Galilee, the buildings were made of a black basalt.