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In Capernaum's Synagogue


(1a) Mark 1:21-28 = (!)Matt 4:13-16 = Luke 4:31-37
(1b) Matt 7:28-29
(1c) John 2:12



(1a) Mark 1:21-22 = (!)Matt 4:13-16 = Luke 4:31-32

1:21 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 1:22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
1:23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 1:24 and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." 1:25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" 1:26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 1:27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching--with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." 1:28 At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

= (!)Matt 4:13-16
4:13 He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 4:14 so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 4:15 "Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles-- 4:16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned."

= Luke 4:31-32
4:31 He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. 4:32 They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority.
4:33 In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 4:34 "Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." 4:35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. 4:36 They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, "What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!" 4:37 And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.

(1b) Matt 7:28-29

7:28 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 7:29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

see also: Matt 4:23-25 which leads into the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew's opening scene for Jesus' ministry)

4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 4:24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 4:25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. 5:1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 5:2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(1c) John 2:12

2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.





RCL: Year B, Epiphany 4
ECUSA & RC: Year
B, Ordinary Sunday 4

John Dominic Crossan

Item: 215
Stratum: II (60-80 CE)
Attestation: Single
Historicity: ±


Jesus Seminar

The Seminar voted Red to the proposition that Capernaum was a key center for Jesus' activities in the Galilee, but the tradition has been developed and preserved in very different ways by each of the evangelists. MARK constructs an artificial "day in the ministry of Jesus" stretching from 1:21 to 1:39. MATTHEW simply notes that Capernaum was the main location for Jesus, and then connects that with his theme of fulfilled prophecies. LUKE develops a visit to the Nazareth synagogue in 4:16-30 as the opening scene of Jesus' public ministry, with Capernaum simply the next stop on his travels. JOHN also records a tradition that has Jesus and his followers staying for a period at Capernaum.



This poem originated as a contribution to the HODOS online community by Gene Stecher. It is published with Gene's consent but he explicitly retains full rights as the creative author. You welcome to use it for personal study and worship, but it should not be published in any other form without the author's prior consent. Index to Gene Stecher's poems


Capernaum, 1000 persons on 250 acres,

Egypt/India trade route a couple miles off,

Honorable locals do commerical fishing,

Dishonorable locals do toll collecting,

Didn't take well to Jesus missionaries,

same as Chorazin and Bethsaida.

Impressive at assemblies, no scribal mush.


Words grounded in personal authority,

Formal teaching,

Commanded action.

A rise to fame [a price to pay]!


Some guy with demons is making a commotion,

Calling Jesus God's Holy One.

He wasn't disappointed,

But a huge struggle for the genuine self!


Dare we be called Holy One,

confronting both inner and outer demons,

Rooted in the Ground of personal authority,

how untried and unknown is this power?

" Why are you so cowardly?

You still don't trust do you?" (Mk 4:40)



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