Capernaum was the center of Jesus activities in the Galilee and his town during that period. Christ taught in the local synagogue. Excavations have revealed a synagogue from the time of Jesus with walls made of worked stone and feet thick. For much of his adult life, Jesus resided in this small fishing village just off the Sea of Galilee. It was here where Christ began his ministry in the town synagogue (Mark 1:21), gathered his first disciples (Mark 1:16–20) and became known for his power to heal the sick and infirm (Mark 3:1–5). Capernaum was also the home town of the apostles Peter, James, Andrew and John, and the tax collector Matthew.Several biblical events and miracles in Capernaum are cited in the Bible. For example:
The Call of the First Disciples
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him (Mark 1:16-20).
The Cure of a Demoniac
Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; He cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him,” (Mark 1:21-27).
The Healing of a Centurion’s Slave
When he had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion[c] there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health (Luke 7:1-10).
The Cure of Peter’s Mother-in-Law
Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him (Matthew 8:14-15).