Where do you go to recharge? Where’s your base of operations?
Walking through the ruins of the city of Capernaum last year, I thought about home. Nothing about it reminded me of my home, but because it was Jesus’ hometown during the years of his public ministry – that time stretching from his baptism in the Jordon by John the Baptist through his resurrection three years later – I couldn’t help but think about where I hang my hat.
When our Empower Texans group arrived, we were the only ones there. It had been raining that morning and the air was cool. You can see what’s widely understood to be the home of Peter the Apostle. Just steps from that is where the synagogue at which Jesus taught and worshipped stood – though the remains of the synagogue you see are of one built over the site of Jesus’ place of worship.
More importantly, Capernaum was Jesus’ base of operations. Think about that; the Son of God sometimes needed a break, a place to collect His thoughts, and this is apparently where he went. That’s not to recommend the ruins of Capernaum as a retreat center. Indeed, Capernaum was cursed by Jesus in Matthew 11 because it’s people were unrepentant. Yet this is also the city where a paralyzed man was lowered through a roof by his friends so he could be healed by Jesus.
Capernaum was a complicated place, which makes it fittingly human.
Fighting for liberty, for self-governance… even just working to get by… can be incredibly taxing. We like to tell ourselves we don’t need a break, that our passion can power us through.
And then there is Capernaum. And then there is Jesus.
There is no evidence Jesus owned a home in Capernaum; he probably stayed with Peter’s family and others when there.
Where’s your base, your place of rest? George Washington had Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson had Monticello. I have a leather recliner with side table for my coffee mug.
Jesus taught and healed people in Capernaum, Washington worked the fields of Mount Vernon. (I binge watch Criminal Minds and draft the Texas Minute on my recliner.)
The point is that everyone needs a place to go – not a comic book “fortress of solitude,” but a place to collect themselves. When God created the universe, Scriptures say He took a day of rest (I contend He did that in Texas, but some so-called theologians disagree). Each of us need that, also. A day and a place.
Find a place to rest. You deserve it. You need it. We all do.