Short Meditations in John 2: 8. Moving on
Jn 2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
Simple verses sometimes say so much but also provoke lots of questions because the Bible narrative never seeks to be complete – merely sufficient. From Cana in central Galilee, Jesus and his family now move to Capernaum. Note there are a whole group of them: Jesus, his mother, his brothers (?and sisters) and his disciples. Already it appears he is taking the role of leadership and the others come with him.
“There they stayed for a few days.” Soon, as we’ll see in the following verses he will go up to Jerusalem but for the moment they stay in Capernaum for a short time. We aren’t told anything that happened there, simply that they went there and stayed there a few days. Capernaum is going to feature often in the accounts of Jesus ministry, this town on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It would appear to be outside Capernaum on the lakeside that Jesus called the first four fishermen before going back into the town (Mark 1:16-21). Perhaps this first trip was simply to establish a base there, perhaps rent a house there from which they could come and go. Frustratingly the account leaves us wondering.
Again and again we find this in the Gospels. They are full of very specific accounts and yet those accounts are really just the bare bones of what took place. The fact is that Jesus moved on from Cana; that had been just a temporary stop before moving on elsewhere. That’s how it seems again and again with Jesus’ ministry – he keeps on moving on to the next place.
We like to establish ourselves in one place (and there’s nothing wrong with that) and we like what is familiar – but Jesus is constantly wanting to move life on, move on encountering people, move on to bring his Father’s love to more and more people. In our lives today he will be seeking to move us on. Perhaps we like sermons that are familiar and predictable, covering the basics of the Gospel over and over again, but Jesus wants us to change, to grow up in understanding, in character, in personality, in service. The writer to the Hebrews chided his readers: “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.” (Heb 5:11,12) Jesus wants us to grow up!