She gave her granddaughter a kiss on the cheek as she was about to leave, and it seemed to make the girl a little uncomfortable.  Grandma asked, “Are you wiping off my kiss?”  With a bit of guilt, she sheepishly replied, “No ma’am, I am just rubbing it in.”

She didn’t fully appreciate the blessing she had in her grandma.

It could be worse though.  Some fail to appreciate what they have in Jesus.  

When Jesus launched his ministry, it was from a small city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  It was called Capernaum.

I have visited the ruins of this place.  I made it a point to walk upon the same synagogue foundation on which Jesus stood and taught.  An amazing privilege. 

He spent 18 months of His public ministry in that city, which amounts to about half of his 3 ½ years.  It was called his, “own city” – Matthew 9:1. 

Why Capernaum?  It was a stop on the international road that reached from empire to empire.   If something happened in Capernaum, news of it would reach far and wide.  It was a perfect place from which to preach His message.

When Jesus first came on the scene, John the Baptist asked if He was the truly promised Messiah.  This is how Jesus answered, “Go tell John what you hear and see:  The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them.” – Matthew 11:4-5

He quoted the prophet Isaiah who predicted that the coming Messiah would perform those specific miracles as evidence that He was the one sent from God.  (Isaiah 35:5-6)

So, guess what happened in Capernaum?   Jesus performed more miracles there than in any other one place.   It was there that He hugely fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy. 

There in Capernaum he healed a lame man – a paralytic (Matthew 9:1); raised up from the dead the daughter of a synagogue official.  (Matthew 9:18-23)   He healed two blind men there (Matthew 9:27-29) and later restored a mute man. (Matthew 9:32)  Along with the miracles, He preached the good news in Capernaum. (Matthew 9:35)   

In that modest little city, He worked through Isaiah’s list of the miraculous to validate Himself as the Messiah.  The ancient prophecy was fulfilled in Capernaum.

All the proof needed was manifested there.  No other one place in Israel could say the same thing. 

AND YET, it wasn’t enough! The people of Capernaum were hardhearted.  In fact, Matthew 11:20 says, Then Jesus began to criticize openly the cities in which he had done many of his miracles because they did not repent.”

Among those cities, was Capernaum.  “And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Sodom, it would have continued to this day. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you!” – Matthew 11:23-24

Capernaum saw Christ authenticated in every way, and yet failed to believe.  She saw a lot but responded with little.

May I say that Jesus is the real deal.  He lived and died and was raised from the grave.   He continues to provide ample evidence that He is true God, and He works His miraculous proof in the changed lives of people that you know.  They live down the street, or work with you or maybe even dwell in your home.

You have seen Him at work.  You have sensed His power.  You have longed for what He offers.  Maybe it’s time to respond to His call.

A PRAYER: Lord, gather us, your wandering sheep, to your side. 

This has been Jim Johnson with

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Scripture references are from the