Following Jesus • 39 / Jesus makes a key decision

Read This: John 2:12

Tucked between Jesus’ first miracle and His three years of public life is a quiet verse rarely addressed in commentaries. Jesus, with His family and disciples, stayed in Capernaum for a few days.

This quick trip signals Jesus making a decision. After thirty years of living at home in Nazareth, Jesus now steps into His life’s work. And He doesn’t stay in Nazareth. Why not?

Probably because Nazareth was a small, isolated village. Jesus’ goal was to spread the “good news of great joy” to “all the people.” To the nations. Which is likely why He chose Capernaum.

Capernaum* was “the conduit through which coursed a steady stream of humanity.” It was situated on the Great Trunk Road, the most important highway in the biblical world. It stretched from the major cities of Egypt through Gaza, the coastal cities, the garrison cities, and along the trade routes to Damascus, Babylon, and the Persian Gulf. It linked every part of the region and “pulsated with the activities and congestion of internationalism.”

What happened in Capernaum found its way throughout the near east and beyond.

If your plan is to reveal God’s way of salvation for “all nations . . . to the ends of the earth” (see Psalm 67), what better place to set up than at the crossroads?

Every decision Jesus made was for God’s glory.


* All descriptions of Capernaum and the Great Trunk Road are taken from The New Moody Atlas of the Bible, by Barry J. Beitzel.