When He had completed all His discourse in the hearing of the people, He went to Capernaum. (Luke 7:1 NASB)
Jesus, as you know, lived with his parents in Nazareth as a boy. After He began His public ministry, He moved to Capernaum, which became a sort of "base of operations" for Him. Located on the Sea of Galilee, there was a port in this fishing village, so transportation by boat made moving from city to city much easier.
Capernaum was also the hometown of Peter and the site of many miracles. The through-the-roof paralytic was healed here, Simon Peter's mother-in-law was healed here, and we will soon see that the Centurion's servant was healed in Capernaum. Jesus taught in the synagogue, did mighty miracles, and lived among the people. They saw Him frequently and, with a population of less than 2,000, most people probably knew Him or at least knew of Him.
The terrible thing about Capernaum, though, is that, despite the close encounters with Jesus, they did not embrace His teachings or His way. Matthew records a heart-breaking prophecy. "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you." (Matthew 11:23, 24 NASB)
The Son of God walked the streets of Capernaum in the flesh. He ate, laughed, and lived among them. People may have thought He was a nice guy, but they were not willing to break with tradition and their expectations to embrace this unlikely Messiah for whom they had been waiting the last four centuries. As a result, doom was prophecied and the village is a ruin of stones today.
It's easy to look at Capernaum and wonder how they could miss their Messiah. It's not as easy to see that we do the same thing ourselves. God is still at work all around us. Although Jesus is not here in the flesh, His Spirit is no less active in our lives today. How often do we recognize the hand of God in our daily activities? How often do we see our circumstances as divinely orchestrated events?
Do you recognize your Lord moving in your midst? Do you see Him at work and give Him credit for what He is doing?
Today, pray that our loved ones will not be blinded like Capernaum but will have spiritual eyes to see God at work in their lives. Pray that His moving would be crystal clear to us and to those we love, and that we would embrace the One who came to set us free.
Link for last night's post is here: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-unlikely-winner.html