Whenever I do research of Bible topics I consult the excavations done by the archaeologists.
I remember one year an Italian was excavating here at Capernaum. They made the interesting discovery that the present synagogue was built on the original one where Jesus used to attend.
Coming here you ask questions about the location of house of Peter.
This is where they take you. Buried beneath the remains of an octagonal Byzantine martyrium church, excavators found the ruins of a rather mundane dwelling dating to the first century B.C.
Although slightly larger than most, the house was simple, with coarse walls and a roof of earth and straw. Like most early Roman-period houses, it consisted of a few small rooms clustered around two open courtyards.
Despite later proving to be one of the most exciting Biblical archaeology discoveries, the house appeared quite ordinary. According to the excavators, however, it is what happened to the house after the middle of the first century A.D. that marked it as exceptional and most likely the house of Peter, the home of Jesus in Capernaum.
At about the same time, the house’s pottery, which had previously been household cooking pots and bowls, now consisted entirely of large storage jars and oil lamps. Such radical alterations indicate that the house no longer functioned as a residence but instead had become a place for communal gatherings, possibly even the first christian gatherings, a key factor in how Christianity began.
As with many Biblical archaeology discoveries, often the small details most convincingly tie ancient material remains to Biblical events and characters.
The building’s key role in understanding how Christianity began was confirmed by more than a hundred graffiti scratched into the church’s walls. Most of the inscriptions say things like “Lord Jesus Christ help thy servant” or “Christ have mercy.”
This simple church building, helpful in determining how Christianity began, survived for more than 300 years before it was finally replaced in the fifth century by a well-built octagonal martyrium church.
The inner sanctum of the octagonal building was built directly above the remains of the very room of the first-century house that had formed the central hall of the earlier church.
Were it not for its association with Jesus and Peter, why else would a run-of-the-mill first-century house in Capernaum have become a focal point of Christian worship and identity for centuries to come?
LET’S READ WHAT THE BIBLE HAS TO TELL US ABOUT THIS SITE
Mark 1:29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
During the Galilean ministry Jesus repeatedly stayed in the house of Simon Peter. His counsel to the Twelve, to remain at one house during their stay in a town, doubtless was consistent with His own practice.
Jesus was exhausted. He just had a tremendous struggle with the evil one and needed rest desperately.
1:30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.
This old lady was dying. He could have told the family that they would see her in the resurrection.
But Jesus was so very different, so very kind. He forgot about His own needs and went to assist the old lady.
My dear sister if you were that old lady, Jesus would have attended lovingly to you.
Peter is the only one of the Twelve specifically mentioned as being married.
This is the first miracle recorded by all three synoptic writers. Mark’s account provides several details that are lacking in the others.
This what he recorded:
1:30 Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her.
Our English word “fever” is derived from a related word. Luke, a physician, diagnosed this affliction as a “great fever” (see on Luke 4:38). The presence of marshland not far from Capernaum, whose climate was subtropical, suggests that it may have been malaria.
Jesus’ disciples demonstrated their confidence in Him by turning to Him immediately in time of physical distress.
How would you have approached this old mother with her high malaria fever in our present covet 19 lock down situation?
1:31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
This act was a personal touch of loving sympathy commonly employed by Jesus. He knew the therapeutic value of a loving touch.
Listen to the following incidents of the same treatment:
Mark 5:41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).
Listen to the following story of a double touch
Mark 8:23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
Mark 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
Contact with divine power, through faith, made this woman whole. The soul that is sick with sin also needs to feel the touch of a hand that is warm with sympathy.
Mark 1:31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
I think she said to Jesus: “Master you were busy preaching and healing on this Sabbath without having anything to eat. Please sit down while I prepare something delicious for you.
Listen what Luke wrote:
Luke 4:39 So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.
A long fever usually leaves its victim weak, and a period of time is necessary before the vital powers of the body are restored to their normal strength, but this woman’s cure appears to have been instantaneous.
She was able to minister to the household before sunset.
“WHAT HAPPENED AFTER JESUS HAD A LITTLE REST THAT SABBATH AFTERNOON
Mark 1:32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.
Mark’s reason for being precise as to the time when the sick of the city were brought to the door of Peter’s home lay probably in the fact that rabbinical law prohibited all but emergency attention to the sick on the Sabbath (see on John 5:10; 7:23; 9:14).
Also, acts of healing, except in cases of dire emergency, where life itself was in danger, were considered work, and therefore inappropriate for the Sabbath day (see on Luke 13:10–17).
The fact that all three synoptic writers describe this incident with comparative thoroughness implies that it was a memorable occasion for all the disciples.
The Twelve had been bitterly disappointed at the reception thus far accorded the ministry of Jesus, particularly in Judea and at Nazareth. This demonstration of public confidence in Him must have greatly strengthened their own faith.
1:33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.
A vivid detail mentioned only by Mark. This does not necessarily mean that every person living in Capernaum came to Peter’s home, rather it is a hyperbolic description of the throngs of people who did come.
1:34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him..
Tidings of the work of Christ spread rapidly throughout Capernaum. For fear of the rabbis, the people dared not come for healing upon the Sabbath; but no sooner had the sun disappeared below the horizon than there was a great commotion.
From the homes, the shops, the market places, the inhabitants of the city pressed toward the humble dwelling that sheltered Jesus. The sick were brought upon couches, they came leaning upon staffs, or, supported by friends, they tottered feebly into the Saviour’s presence.
Hour after hour they came and went; for none could know whether tomorrow would find the Healer still among them. Never before had Capernaum witnessed a day like this. The air was filled with the voice of triumph and shouts of deliverance.
The Saviour was joyful in the joy He had awakened. As He witnessed the sufferings of those who had come to Him, His heart was stirred with sympathy, and He rejoiced in His power to restore them to health and happiness.
Not until the last sufferer had been relieved did Jesus cease His work. It was far into the night when the multitude departed, and silence settled down upon the home of Simon. The long, exciting day was past, and Jesus sought rest. But while the city was still wrapped in slumber, the Saviour, “rising up a great while before day, … went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”
Thus were spent the days in the earthly life of Jesus. He often dismissed His disciples to visit their homes and rest; but He gently resisted their efforts to draw Him away from His labours.
All day He toiled, teaching the ignorant, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, feeding the multitude; and at the eventide or in the early morning, He went away to the sanctuary of the mountains for communion with His Father.
Often He passed the entire night in prayer and meditation, returning at daybreak to His work among the people.
How after do we pray before engaging with people? What kind of attitude do I reveal in my contact with people. I want to spend more time in prayer like Jesus so that I can reflect Him more as I relate to people. What about you?
Jesus healed the first leper. He is going to tell us his amazing story and what the healing meant for him.