The house is packed. One wouldn’t even find standing room in this home, as people from all over the region of Galilee have flocked here to this northern town of Capernaum. Every room, window, and doorway is filled because of what is taking place inside. There is a man inside teaching radical things. He is turning status quo religion on its head, and is painting a newer, truer, deeper picture of reality. Who wouldn’t have been going to check this guy out? It was a day without computers, televisions, iPhones, or electronics of any kind. People lived simply, largely lived off of the land or through ranching or fishing. When the news reached their ears of this curious man—Yeshua from Nazareth— took up residence (albeit temporarily) in a town just a few hours walk away, why wouldn’t they make the journey to see for themselves what He was all about?
"Who is this Jesus?”
is even today arguably the most important question, which necessitates a most important spiritual journey. Let’s take a look at a short story in the book of Mark at the beginning of chapter 2, which in part concisely answers our question.
About a month ago, I returned from a trip to Israel and Jordan, during which we were able to tour the region of Galilee, including the ancient town of Capernaum. Today, what is left of these homes are some outlines of ancient rooms among blackened foundation stones. There is one home which has parts of a wall remaining, as well as some plaster design work in a place likened to be the home of Peter. Back in the first century, it was a fisherman’s town as it borders the Sea of Galilee. Even today it is beautiful, especially on a sunny day where the greens and browns of palms and olive trees are contrasted by blue sky and the blue waters of the sea. In the first century the homes varied in size, but they had flat roofs usually made of thatched sticks and hardened mud. The story picks up at the packed out home, when a group of four men bring another paralyzed man to find Jesus.