In John 6, Christ had fed the multitude. The following day He had preached a great sermon in Capernaum in the synagogue, a sermon in which He claimed to come from heaven and to be the bread of life. He told them that they had soul hunger which was infinitely worse than physical hunger and there was only one thing that could satisfy their souls and that was He Himself. And thus He had claimed in this sermon to be the bread of life, the only soul food that can really satisfy. And the response to His sermon was unbelief and many walked away.
"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."Matthew 11:23
Three stages of development of the house of Peter. (shaded in grey) Oxford Archaeological Guide
The Sea of Galilee is just beyond the trees.
The church of Capernaum was founded on the traditional site of St. Peter's home. Closer to the shore than the synagogue, the house was in a poor area where the drystone basalt walls would have supported only a light roof (which suits the lowering of the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12) and could have no windows.
The floors of these houses and courtyards were made of black basalt cobbles, in which it would have been easy to lose a coin (Luke 15:8).
By the mid-1st century AD, there is evidence that one room in this complex was singled out for public use: pottery and lamps replace utensils of normal family use, and there is ancient graffiti in the plastered walls, some of which mention Jesus as Lord and Christ.
The house was certainly a church by the time Egeria made her pilgrimage in 381, which she said included the original walls: "In Capernaum the house of the prince of the apostles has been made into a church, with its original walls still standing." ~ Sacred Destinations
Ruins of ancient houses.
A look at the octagonal house of Peter which the Modern Franciscan church has been built over. Withing the modern church there is a glass floor that you can look down in to the house of Peter.
Inside the Capernaum Synagogue.
It was the synagogue on this very spot, whose foundations you can still see, which Luke says was built by the centurion whose servant Jesus later healed (Luke 7:3-5). Jesus also raised from the dead the daughter of this synagogue’s leader (Luke 8:49-53).
Above you can see a relief of the Ark of the Covenant. After bringing down the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, Moses put them in this chest along with Aaron's rod and a bowl of manna, the mysterious bread that fed the Jews during the Exodus. The Bible attributes this ark to be the resting place of God when the Jewish tabernacle was erected during the Exodus. Mysterious powers were attributed to the ark, which stood in the Holy of Holies after Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem. The present location of the ark is unknown; it was not found when the Romans captured Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This sculpture decorated a frieze on the 4th-century synagogue which the Jews built on the site of the original 1st-century one where Jesus worshipped.
The Mount of Beatitudes
The traditional location for the Mount of Beatitudes is on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, between Capernaum and Gennesaret. Pat and I are standing on the porch of the Roman Catholic Franciscan chapel that overlooks the Sea of Galilee.
On this afternoon, David taught from Matthew 5 on the Beatitudes.
The Lord is calling on us to influence the world that we live in, just as He was those disciples gathered with Him as He preached to the multitudes. The Lord is saying that the Christian who lives according to the Beatitudes is going to influence the world as salt and light. In all that a person does and is (or is not), the sum total of our character, consciously or otherwise, affects other people.
Jesus is saying we are to be different; poor in spirit, mournful and meek, thirsting for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemaking. And even though we are all those things, we don't crawl off into a monastery somewhere. We get out in the world and we live it right there where others can see it and that by our lives they may know who He is.
The remains of the boat, 27 feet long, 7.5 feet wide and with a maximum preserved height of 4.3 feet, first appeared during a drought, when the waters of the Sea (actually a great fresh-water lake) receded.
Our national anthem! (If you look closely, you can spot me sitting on the aisle.)
And an hour later with even more memories we are back at the Gai Beach Hotel.
We have just been served our appetizers of hummus and falafel. It was a fun evening as Pat and I sat across from David Arthur and alongside one of our favorite families!