Jesus began his public ministry in Capernaum to fulfill the prophecy. Jesus opened the scroll at the synagogue and read from Isiah:
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
Capernaum was a border city. Being a trade route, it was one of the busiest cities in the Galilean region. There were plenty of strangers, travelers, merchants and sinners to see the miracles of Jesus and bear witness to the Good News upon their return to their own communities.
The house of Peter is also found at Capernaum. A church, octagonal in shape, has been built above the remains. Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law here and it is thought that the disciples often met there together to pray and share meals.
Jesus messages of hope and love were revolutionary. The followers of Jesus had to take care to avoid persecution. Signs and symbols were adopted to help followers of Jesus identify each other. One of those signs were octagonal shaped buildings. The number of sides, eight, symbolised the eighth day of the covenant - the new covenant.
Are you easily identified as a Christian?