I was surprised when I visited the city of Capernaum to learn about all the things that Jesus did there. It shouldn’t have been surprising, however, for Capernaum served as the home base for most of Jesus’ ministry, having moved there when He left His boyhood home of Nazareth. To hear about some of the things that Jesus did in Capernaum, take a look at the forty-second video below. Then read on to see how Jesus is still working today in the same ways that He did in Capernaum.
So what happened in Capernaum? This is where Jesus healed many people. Here’s a sampling of the healings that took place there:
- He healed the centurion’s servant
- He healed the paralytic and forgave him of his sins
- He healed the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years
- He healed Jairus’ daughter, raising her from the dead
- and He healed two blind men.
The common thread running through each of these stories is that the people were healed by faith in Christ.
In the story of the centurion’s servant, Jesus commends his faith, saying:
“I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith…” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour (Matthew 8:10b,13).
In the story of the paralytic, Jesus took note of his friends’ faith:
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,
“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” … Then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home. (Matthew 9:2b,6b-7).
In the story of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, Jesus said:
“Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment (Matthew 9:22b).
In the story of Jairus’ daughter, Jesus said:
“Don’t be afraid; just believe.” … He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’ ). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around… (Mark 5:36b, 41-42a).
And in the story of the two blind men, before Jesus healed them, He asked them a question:
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
Then He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; and their sight was restored (Matthew 9:28b-30a).
It was this last story that surprised me the most when I read that it took place in Capernaum, for it was this story that inspired me to put my faith in Christ 23 years ago. I had no idea that it took place there in Capernaum until I was preparing for this trip to Israel. It was a detail I had overlooked at the time.
When I had read the story 23 years ago, I was walking along a road in Houston, Texas. I was about 7,000 miles away from Capernaum and it was about 2,000 years later. I was asking God for a healing in my own life. I felt like Jesus was asking me the same question: “Eric, do you believe I am able to do this, too?”
I thought about everything Jesus had ever done—how He healed the sick, walked on water and raised the dead. I thought if anyone could do it, Jesus could. So I put my hand up in the air, and for the first time in my life, I truly put my faith in Christ. Like the blind men, I said, “Yes, Lord.” And like the blind men, I was healed in that moment.
By the next day I had put my faith in Christ for everything in my life. I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and trusted Him to take me to live with Him forever when I died. (If you’d like to read more of this story, you can read it on my website at http://www.theranch.org.)
The course of my life changed that day, and it was all based on a story that took place in Capernaum. To stand there when we visited Israel and think about what happened then and how it had affected me now was astounding. What a blessing that these stories have been recorded for us and can touch our lives in such life-changing ways.
Faith in Christ is a powerful thing. But you don’t have to take my word for it—you can take His word for it! According to His word, it was by faith that the centurion’s servant was healed; by faith, the paralytic was forgiven of his sins and healed of his paralysis; by faith, the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years was healed; by faith, Jairus’ daughter was raised from the dead; and by faith, the sight of the blind men had restored.
If you need God to do something in your life that you can’t seem to do on your own, I’d like to encourage you to put your faith in Christ, and keep putting your faith in Him for everything in Your life. You’ll be glad you did.
Father, thank You for the inspiring stories of faith that took place in Capernaum. I pray that You would reach out to us in the same way today, doing the impossible for those who are willing to put their faith in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.