Christ Preaching in Galilee
Familiarity with these verses, and those immediately preceding, can mask the sheer impact of Jesus’ visit to Capernaum at the start of his ministry. Here is power at work – not power as the world understands it, for worldly power often becomes an exercise in control – but the power of liberation, liberation from the shackles, often unseen by others, that imprison and can ultimately destroy. The shackles of illness, guilt for past failings, of lives broken by the pressures of everyday living. And time is limited, to preach the good news that a new age is dawning, where in the words of that much loved hymn by Charles Wesley [our] chains fell off, [our] heart was free, and to demonstrate in acts of healing God’s love at work in the lives of ordinary people. Jesus comes to the people of Capernaum two thousand years ago, and to us and our world today as the answer to the deepest human needs, the need to be valued and loved, the need to be accepted – warts and all – in the words of Oliver Cromwell. Read more.