Day 7 - Jesus' Headquarters

When Jesus left his hometown of Nazareth, stinging from the rejection of his village and his extended family, he went straight to Capernaum, a fishing center on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Earlier, at the time of his baptism in Judea, Jesus had met five men who lived in Capernaum. Because they seemed to be particularly open to him, Jesus decided to go to their town and see if these guys would become not just friends, but followers who would build a new kind of family with him. So we too went to Capernaum and had the amazing opportunity to see the remains of the synagogue where Jesus preached and healed, as well as the home of the extended family of Simon and Andrew where Jesus lived and redefined what a family is meant to be. As we studied the layout of the house and how it illuminates the various Gospel accounts of what happened there, we started to see the profound implications for our own family life and the mission God has called each of us to as well. After a time of worship and reflection there by the lake in Capernaum, we headed out for a boat cruise on the lake to see things from the perspective of the fishermen who became the core of Jesus' spiritual family. Our cruise ended with a visit to see the first-century boat discovered on the shores of the lake just 30 years ago, exactly the kind of boat Jesus and the disciples used here. This day of amazing experiences challenged us to ask ourselves if we are building the same kind of extended spiritual family on mission that Jesus did. 

Sitting outside the beautiful white limestone synagogue in Capernaum we could see the foundations of the first-century black basalt stone synagogue in which Jesus taught and cast out demons with authority.

Looking south from the Synagogue we could see the layout of the streets and extended family homes of Capernaum at the time of Jesus, including the actual home of Simon and Andrew's oikos (extended family) which became Jesus' spiritual family.

Our cruise on the lake helped us to see this land from a fisherman's perspective.

From the boat we could see nearly all of the places where Jesus ministered around the north end of the Sea of Galilee.

The remains of this 27 foot-long fishing boat date to precisely the time of Jesus and is exactly the type of boat that his disciples would have used to travel around the lake.

After a full morning we enjoyed yet another delicious picnic lunch with the most amazing view!

In the afternoon some of us made an extra visit to the ancient synagogue of Arbel and made some fascinating discoveries.