Jesus Leaves Capernaum (Luke 4:42-44)

Jesus Leaves Capernaum.

42 At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. 43 But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.


Spiritual – Jesus leaves us.

This pericope begins “at daybreak.”  Wow!  Could it be that Jesus was healing nearly all night long?!  Could it be that people were coming to Him all throughout the night?!  Again, try to imagine yourself as being there.  Jesus has been up late into the night healing the sick and at daybreak he leaves to be alone.  You’ve just spent the whole Sabbath day and the following night with Jesus.  You’ve witnessed him teaching, you’ve witnessed him healing, and you’ve witnessed him casting out demons.  Very soon now he’s going to leave you so that he can do in other towns what he has just done in yours.

When he leaves to preach in the synagogues of Judea he’s going to be gone for weeks.  During his absence you are left to ponder what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard.  So, for the next several weeks, try to reflect on what you’ve “seen”.  (I know, you’ve only read it; but try to really imagine having been there; try to image that you’ve seen firsthand all that Jesus has done and said.)

Spiritual – Jesus withdraws to pray

“Jesus left and went to a deserted place.”  As we read more scripture we will see in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John many times that Jesus withdraws from the crowds and finds solitude to pray.  Prayer is communion with God and it is essential for our relationship with Him.  In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father” and that “the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him.” (CCC 2565)  As we observe Jesus more and more we see him perfectly model the life of prayer that we should follow.

Spiritual – Jesus’s teaching evokes a response

In Luke 4:28 & 29 we read that the people of Nazareth (his home town) rejected Jesus.  We read that “they rose up” and “drove him out of town.”  Isn’t it a stark contrast with what we’ve just read in verse 42?  In Capernaum “they tried to prevent him leaving them.”  You might think “well of course Nazareth rejected him and Capernaum embraced him.  He insulted the people in Nazareth and he healed the people in Capernaum.”  But it goes deeper than that.  In each town, Jesus began by teaching in the Synagogue.  In Capernaum Jesus spoke with authority.  Can we imagine, even for one second, that he spoke with any less authority in Nazareth?  Of course not.  However, it’s clear that in Capernaum they embraced his authoritative teaching, yet in Nazareth, the rejected his authoritative teaching.

As we read scripture more and more we’ll see that when Jesus taught he called his listeners to self-conviction.  If your heart is open to conversion then Jesus’ teaching is very powerful and helps in the transformation that you desire.  However, if you have a hard heart and are resistant to conversion, then you’ll find Jesus’ teaching offensive and you’ll do whatever you can to separate from him.


Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition© 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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