14 Jan. Mark 1:29-34

14 Jan. Jesus heals Simon 'Rocky' Barjonas's mother-in-law

"As soon as Jesus and his followers left the synagogue [in Capernaum], they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a [malarial?] fever, and the family told Jesus about her."

"So Jesus went to her bed, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her, and she began serving them."

"That evening, after the sun went down [and the Sabbath had ended], the people brought to Jesus all who were sick and had demons in them. The whole town gathered at the door. Jesus healed many who had different kinds of sickness, and he forced many demons to leave people. But he would not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was."

          (Mark 1:29-34)



In Chapter 1 of Mark's gospel, Jesus arrived at the lakeside town of Capernaum (meaning ‘village of comfort’) where Jesus taught in the synagogue and cast an evil spirit out of a man. Afterwards, Jesus was invited to the home of Simon Barjonas (meaning ‘Son of Jonah’ or ‘Son of John’ – see John 1:42) where Simon and his brother Andrew lived with Simon’s wife and other members of the prosperous Barjonas family fishing business. Many people were brought to Jesus, who healed the sick and drove out many demons.

Jesus made Capernaum his base from the autumn of 27AD. He preached here, and performed many healing miracles – including the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law.

Capernaum is situated at the foot of the Galilean Hills, where hot springs rich in minerals, bring naturally warm water to the surface. The town is situated on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in the Jordan Valley and lies at about 700 feet / 200 metres below sea level.

As a result, the climate is much warmer than in Jerusalem or on the Judaean Hills, and it would have been pleasant for crowds to sit outside in the sunshine listening to Jesus – even during the autumn and winter. Jesus, significantly, spent his time in Galilee during the winters of the first three years of his ministry (26-28AD).

Modern-day visitors to Capernaum can visit the synagogue built in the 3rd century AD on the site of the one that stood here in Jesus’s day (see the photo on 10th Jan.). The black basalt blocks forming the foundations of the earlier synagogue built by a Roman centurion (see Luke 7:5) can be clearly seen (see the photo on 13th Jan.).

A modern Franciscan church – in the shape of a boat – was built in 1990 over the remains of the house believed to be the home of Simon (whom Jesus nicknamed 'Peter', meaning 'rock solid'). This is believed to be where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law. The original 1st century house was converted into an octagonal church in the 5th century, and this lies below the floor of the modern fishing boat-shaped church.

The photo (by David Shankbone) shows the interior of the modern church built over the remains of the Barjonas family home in Capernaum.

You can read more about Jesus's ministry in Capernaum @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-teaches-in-caperna…/

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