Jesus goes to Capernaum (Lk 7:1-7:1)

“After Jesus

Had finished

All his sayings,

In the hearing

Of the people,

He entered Capernaum.”

 

Ἐπειδὴ ἐπλήρωσεν πάντα τὰ ῥήματα αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς ἀκοὰς τοῦ λαοῦ, εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναούμ.

 

Luke said that after Jesus had finished all his sayings (Ἐπειδὴ ἐπλήρωσεν πάντα τὰ ῥήματα αὐτοῦ), which the people had heard (εἰς τὰς ἀκοὰς τοῦ λαοῦ), he entered Capernaum (εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναούμ).  This story can be found in Matthew, chapter 8:5, and John, chapter 4:46, with of course some variations.  Jesus once again returned to Capernaum, his headquarters in Galilee, implying that Jesus had finished with his sermon on the plain or the mountain.  Mark, chapter 2:1, indicated that Capernaum was now his new home.  Capernaum was a fishing village of about 1,500 people, on the northwest seaside corner of the Sea of Galilee.  According to Matthew, chapter 4:13, Capernaum had become Jesus’ own home town.  Have you always lived in the same hometown?

Pay the tax anyway (Mt 17:27-17:27)

“However,

Not to give offense

To them,

Go to the sea!

Cast a hook!

Take the first fish

That comes up!

When you open its mouth,

You will find a coin.

Take that!

Give it to them

For you

And for me!”

 

ἵνα δὲ μὴ σκανδαλίσωμεν αὐτούς, πορευθεὶς εἰς θάλασσαν βάλε ἄγκιστρον καὶ τὸν ἀναβάντα πρῶτον ἰχθὺν ἆρον, καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ εὑρήσεις στατῆρα· ἐκεῖνον λαβὼν δὸς αὐτοῖς ἀντὶ ἐμοῦ καὶ σοῦ.

 

This section about the temple tax is unique to Matthew.  After just saying that they did not have to pay the Temple tax, Jesus reminded them that they should not offend or scandalize the Temple tax collectors (ἵνα δὲ μὴ σκανδαλίσωμεν αὐτούς).  He told Peter to go the sea (πορευθεὶς εἰς θάλασσαν), probably the Sea of Galilee, and throw out a hook into the sea (βάλε ἄγκιστρον).  Peter was to catch the first fish that came up out of the water (καὶ τὸν ἀναβάντα πρῶτον ἰχθὺν ἆρον).  Then Peter was to open the mouth of this fish (καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ).  He would find a coin called a “statara” “στατῆρα,” in its mouth (εὑρήσεις στατῆρα).  This coin was worth about 2 didrachmas, enough to pay the temple tax for two people.  Thus, Peter was to pay the Temple tax collectors for Peter and himself (ἐκεῖνον λαβὼν δὸς αὐτοῖς ἀντὶ ἐμοῦ καὶ σοῦ).  The money did not come from Jesus and his disciples, but from this magic fish.  There was no mention of the other disciples paying this tax.

Jesus asks about the Son of Man (Mt 16:13-16:13)

“Jesus came

Into the district

Of Caesarea Philippi.

He asked his disciples.

‘Who do people say

That the Son of Man is?’”

 

Ἐλθὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὰ μέρη Καισαρίας τῆς Φιλίππου ἠρώτα τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ λέγων Τίνα λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου;

 

Now this question about the Son of Man can be found in Mark, chapter 8:27, and Luke, chapter 9:18, but there are slight differences.  In Luke, he is not in Caesarea Philippi, a gentile Roman city about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the base of Mount Hermon, where there was a shrine to the Greek god Pan.  In Matthew, it was when Jesus came into the district or region of Caesarea Philippi (Ἐλθὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὰ μέρη Καισαρίας τῆς Φιλίππου).  Obviously, he had his disciples with him.  Then he asked or questioned his disciples (μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ λέγων) who did people or men think the Son of Man was (Τίνα λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  In Mark, they were on their way to this northern area in Caesarea Philippi.  Jesus wanted to know what his disciples were thinking.

The disciples forget bread (Mt 16:5-16:5)

“When the disciples

Reached the other side,

They had forgotten

To bring any bread.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ εἰς τὸ πέραν ἐπελάθοντο ἄρτους λαβεῖν.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 8:14.  In an ironic twist of fate, the disciples of Jesus forget to bring bread with them on this trip across the Sea of Galilee.  There is no indication of the place where they were.  Mark said that they only had one loaf of bread.  When the disciples got to the other side of the sea (Καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ εἰς τὸ πέραν), they realized that they had forgotten to bring any bread with them (ἐπελάθοντο ἄρτους λαβεῖν).  Bread was a key food element of nourishment.  Remember the bread of life.

Jesus goes to Magadan (Mt 15:39-15:39)

“After sending away

The crowds,

Jesus got into the boat.

He went

To the region of Magadan.”

 

Καὶ ἀπολύσας τοὺς ὄχλους ἐνέβη εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς τὰ ὅρια Μαγαδάν.

 

Mark, chapter 8:8-10, has a similar statement about getting into a boat and traveling, but there he went to Dalmanutha, not Magadan.   Jesus sent the crowds away (Καὶ ἀπολύσας τοὺς ὄχλους) after feeding them.  He then got into his boat (ἐνέβη εἰς τὸ πλοῖον).  He ended up in the region of Magadan (καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς τὰ ὅρια Μαγαδάν).  Are Magadan and Dalmanutha near each other on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee?  No one knows for sure, but this area might be between Capernaum and Tiberias near Gennesaret.  Magadan may have been where Mary Magdalene was from, but there is no concrete evidence to support that.

Jesus meets the two possessed demoniacs (Mt 8:28-8:28)

“When he came

To the other side,

To the country

Of the Gadarenes,

Two demoniacs met him.

They were coming out

Of the tombs.

They were so extremely violent

That no one could pass

That way.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ πέραν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν ὑπήντησαν αὐτῷ δύο δαιμονιζόμενοι ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἐξερχόμενοι, χαλεποὶ λίαν ὥστε μὴ ἰσχύειν τινὰ παρελθεῖν διὰ τῆς ὁδοῦ ἐκείνης.

 

All three synoptic gospels. Mark, chapter 5:1-3 and Luke, chapter 8:26-27, have Jesus go the country or region of the Gadarenes (εἰς τὸ πέραν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν).  Jesus had traveled over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to its southern tip (Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ).  Gadara was about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River, one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis territory.  Today, it is in the country of Jordan, known as Umm Qais.  There, Jesus met 2 people possessed by the devil (ὑπήντησαν αὐτῷ δύο δαιμονιζόμενοι), who were coming out of the tombs (ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἐξερχόμενοι).  These two demonic people were so extremely violent or fierce (χαλεποὶ λίαν), that no one could pass by them on their way (χαλεποὶ λίαν).

Jesus goes to Capernaum (Mt 4:13-4:13)

“Jesus left Nazareth.

He made his home

In Capernaum

By the sea,

In the territory

Of Zebulun,

Of Naphtali.”

 

καὶ καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρὰ ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ τὴν παραθαλασσίαν ἐν ὁρίοις Ζαβουλὼν καὶ Νεφθαλείμ

 

Matthew is the only gospel story that mentions that Jesus set up his home in Capernaum. However, John, chapter 2:12, mentioned that he went with his family to Capernaum for a few days. Instead of going home to Nazareth, Jesus actually left Nazareth (καὶ καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρὰ). He went and made his home in Capernaum (ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ), about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth, probably a fishing village of about 1.500 people at that time. Capernaum was on the northwest seaside (τὴν παραθαλασσίαν) corner of the Sea of Galilee, in the old territory of Zebulun and Naphtali (ἐν ὁρίοις Ζαβουλὼν καὶ Νεφθαλείμ). There was no explicit mention of the Sea of Galilee, but Capernaum is on that sea in the territory of Naphtali. However, the territory of Zebulun was west of Naphtali and not on the Sea of Galilee.