Read Matthew 4:13-16
(The very beautiful gateway to the city of Capernaum)
One of my favorite cities to visit while hosting Israel trips is the city of Capernaum or in Hebrew Kfar-Nahum. Capernaum is on the northwestern side of the Sea of Galilee and was famous in its day.
Digging in the fertile soil of the ancient land and writings .
Capernaum was the major center of trade and commerce in Galilee. The international trade route from Egypt through Palestine to Syria and Mesopotamia passed near Capernaum. Located only three miles west of the eastern border of Galilee at the Jordan River, the town became a port of entry and customs checkpoint. A collector of customs from passing caravans, Matthew would also collect fees for fish caught in the lake, levied by Herod Antipas who, in effect, owned the lake.
Roman military personnel were stationed at Capernaum under the command of a centurion. Recent excavations indicate that a military garrison was quartered east of the town. These mercenary troops enjoyed a complete bath installation and other excellent facilities. This would have been the residence of the centurion who built the synagogue in which Jesus taught (Matt 8:1-13; Luke 7:1-10). This garrison served Herod Antipas, the governor of Galilee, under Roman rule.
Capernaum became Jesus’ “headquarters” for almost 2 years of his ministry. He recognized that the placement of the city was key. Capernaum sat on the Via Maris “the way of the sea”. This was the most strategic route that connected Asia and Africa through the ancient land of Israel. Everyone had to pass through or by this city.
Jesus knew that this was a key crossroads of culture. Capernaum becomes an example to us of how we are to be a “Living Crossroads” in our culture.
A crossroads was a place of influence, power, impact, a place to stop along the journey for refuge and refreshment, a point of reference, a strategic junction of trade.
How do these crossroads truths apply to my situation today?
- Have you recognized that God has placed you in this world to be a strategic spiritual crossroads for others?
- What are some hindrances that are keeping you from being the effective crossroads God wants you to be?
- Who has God placed in your life today to which you are to be a “living crossroads” for them?
- What are some ways you can be an intentional “living crossroads” in your community in the days ahead?
Crossroads means someone has to cross your road.