Our virtual hike through Galilee has reached the ruins of Capernaum, the home base for Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 4:13) and one of the most prominent towns of Jesus’ life. It is mentioned 16 times in the Gospels and was the site for much of His teaching and many of His miracles. Matthew calls Capernaum Jesus’ “own city.” (Matthew 9:1; Mark 2:1)
At right is an aerial view of the ruins of a 4th-century synagogue in Capernaum (click photo to enlarge). Beneath is the foundation of the 1st-century synagogue of Jesus’ day — built by the Roman centurion whose servant Jesus healed (Luke 7:2-5). Surrounding the synagogue are the ruins of 1st-century houses.
Miracles at Capernaum
Jesus performed so many great works in Capernaum, that He said if Sodom had seen the Capernaum miracles, it would not have been destroyed [because the people would have been moved to repentance and faith] (Matthew 11:23-24). The previous post discussed Expelling a Demon in the Capernaum synagogue. Here is another miracle from Capernaum.
– Healing Peter’s Mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39; Matthew 8:14-15)
Immediately upon finishing His synagogue teaching and expelling the demon, Jesus retired to Simon Peter’s house where He healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. Luke, a doctor (Colossians 4:14), specifies that it was “a high fever.” It was a sufficiently severe illness that she was in bed, for Mark says Jesus raised her up, and Matthew and Luke both say she got up after being healed.
Normally a person requires some time to recover from a fever and continues in a state of weakness for a while. But this healing of Peter’s mother-in-law was complete and instantaneous as indicated by her immediately (per Luke) getting up and waiting on Jesus and His disciples. She got up and got right to work with no delay.
Three of the four Gospel writers describe this incident, and it has a significant implication for the doctrine of marriage. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all report Peter having a mother-in-law, so therefore Peter was married.
The Apostle Paul also mentions Peter’s wife as well as wives of the other apostles:
Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? (1 Corinthians 9:5)
Thus Peter and the apostles, the founders of the Church under Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20), were married. Paul castigates men who forbid marriage and notes that God created marriage to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-3).
Thus it’s wrong for any church or organization to require its leaders to be celibate. It is unbiblical and unwise to require priests and popes to refrain from marriage. Peter, the first pope according to the Church of Rome, was married. So marriage can’t be Scripturally forbidden to Peter’s successors.
Forbidding marriage is contrary to how Yahweh created mankind (It is not good for the man to be alone – Genesis 2:18), it violates a Scriptural injunction (forbid not – 1 Timothy 4:1-3), and it contradicts the examples of the founders of the Church.
To justify enforced celibacy, some may point to 1 Corinthians 7:7-8 where Paul wishes that all could remain as he is (single). Yet this is for those whom God specifically calls to singleness for a particular purpose and season. Paul acknowledges that each has his own gift regarding the state of marriage; some are called to celibacy, but most are called to marriage. Paul explicitly recognizes his own right to marry (1 Corinthians 9:5) as most of the apostles did.
Soli Deo Gloria.
The Hike the Bible series is currently covering points of interest along two hiking trails through Galilee, the 40-mile Jesus Trail and the 39-mile Gospel Trail. These two trails re-create possible routes Jesus likely traversed during His sojourns in Galilee.
This is the twenty-fifth installment in the Hike the Bible series reviewing major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible.
Read the prequels:
1. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail (with video)
2. Hike the Bible – Gospel Trail (with video)
3. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail vs. Gospel Trail
4. Hike the Bible – Nazareth
5. Hike the Bible – Zippori
6. Hike the Bible – Mash’had
7. Hike the Bible – Cana (with video)
8. Hike the Bible – Roman Road
9. Hike the Bible – Via Maris
10. Hike the Bible – Horns of Hattin
11. Hike the Bible – Sermon on the Mount
12. Hike the Bible – Arbel Cliffs
13. Hike the Bible – Magdala (with video)
14. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene
15. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene, Lady or Tramp?
16. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene & the Resurrection
17. Hike the Bible – Sea of Galilee
18. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee
19. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee 2
20. Hike the Bible – Jesus at the Sea of Galilee 3
21. Hike the Bible – Jesus Boat
22. Hike the Bible – Why Capernaum?
23. Hike the Bible – Capernaum Archaeology
24. Hike the Bible – Miracles at Capernaum
Read the sequel:
26. Hike the Bible – Miracles at Capernaum 3
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday December 5, 2012 A.D.
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)