The Road to Capernaum
Have you ever received a compliment which you felt you did not deserve because it was directed towards something you did which was simply a part of your job? In other words, you were doing what you were supposed to do? I am sure we all have those moments – moments in which we are touched but feel like we didn’t do anything special. Doctors receive them for simply caring for their patients in the way they are supposed to. Teachers sometimes receive them simply for helping out a student. Yes, there are certainly times in which we all receive compliments which we may feel we do not deserve – but they ARE nice to hear regardless.
When Jesus left Nazareth where he had not been well received, he went on the road for a three-year tour of preaching, teaching, healing, helping, judging, forgiving, enabling, challenging, calling, and lifting. He was well received in most places, receiving many compliments he may have felt he did not deserve – at least for a while. In our Scripture reading today from Mark, shortly after the calling of the first disciples, Jesus arrives into the town of Capernaum on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. While there, Jesus taught in the synagogue and astonished all who heard him with the things he said and did. Through the precious moments in that little town we get a glimpse of how Jesus carried out his entire ministry. And through these glimpses we also see the impact he makes upon our lives. First of all, Jesus taught from a level of high authority and in so doing showed us the truth of the Word made flesh. Second, Jesus taught with a higher level of compassion, modeling how we are to treat others. Finally, Jesus took people to a higher level of service, and calls us to do the same.