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The Modern Church at Capernaum

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What You Can See From Jesus' Roof

Location - Capernaum

Map Coordinates - 32.880999, 35.575371

Merged Gospels story - 43


In the year 1990, in keeping with the tradition of building newer churches on top of older churches, and to protect the ruins of Peter’s original home, the Franciscans built a modern church above it. This modern structure replicates the design of the octagon, just like the ancient church beneath it. Understandably, the new church is called Saint Peter’s Church. But it has a very interesting feature.


The Octagonal Window.


In the center of this church is a large octagonal window that allows people to look directly into the center of the church that was built over Peter’s home. 


This is the site of a very famous Biblical event. You see, the homes in this town were built with black basalt boulders, and in a way that did not allow for second floors to be built. Several men brought their paralytic friend to be healed by Jesus in this very house. However, being prevented from doing so by the crowd, they decided to climb to the roof, tear off a part of it, and lower him on a stretcher down in front of Jesus.

The vantage point and height of these men, as they were looking down at Jesus, is virtually the same that you are seeing when you look at Peter’s home through this glass window. In other words, you are the same distance from the floor as they were when they were looking at Jesus.

Three independent historians, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, all recount this story. And they all record the same comment from Jesus, when He said that He had both the power to heal, and the authority to forgive sins. The Pharisees who were sitting close said (and I paraphrase), “Wait a minute - only God had the authority to forgive sins.” Jesus didn’t correct this statement, because they were right. Only God can forgive sins. So there is only one question that remains – Who was this Jesus? Without a doubt, this is one of the boldest testimonies in the Bible that Jesus is both Lord and God.

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