After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples. (John 2:12)
Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 32:1 – 34:35
Relate: The prophet Nahum wrote the book bearing his name right some time shortly before the Assyrian empire collapsed. He was a subject of that empire and there are two debates as to where he lived. Nahum 1:1 says he is from Elkosh and the stronger tradition links that ancient town with the modern town of Alqush in northern Iraq. There is a tomb in there in Iraq dedicated to him and there is a family that continues to care for it today even though all the Jews were expelled from the town in 1948 and have still not been allowed back to visit. The other tradition is that the town of Capernaum, which was built (or rebuilt) about two hundred years before Christ began his ministry was actually the site of the old Elkosh in Nahum’s time. Either city would have been part of the Assyrian empire at the time of Nahum’s writing but what is now Capernaum would have been more likely to have a large Jewish presence. This is the view for the town’s location was first proposed by one of the early church historians, Jerome.
Either way, the town Jesus was visiting in John 2, the town he would later make His base of operations, was called in Hebrew, “The Town of Nahum”. Nahum’s theme is how the Lord will bring destruction on Assyria because they have gone to war against the Lord and attempted to separate the people from their God. If you replace “Assyria” with “sin” then Jesus’ mission lines up beautifully as a fulfillment of Nahum’s prophesy. Just look at what I would view the main verse: “Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.”
React: Destruction will come by the One who proclaims peace. Wickedness will be destroyed. It will have no more power to occupy. The gospel, the “evangelion”, is Christ. When Jesus preached his famous sermon on the mount, He was only a couple miles out of this town. I wonder if anyone hearing that message thought of this verse. When he turned the loaves into fish they were ready to make Him king on the spot. Were they simply reading “Rome” in Assyria’s spot and thinking that this man, from the town of Nahum, was here to fulfill the prophesies of Nahum and bring vengeance on the Romans? Jesus Kingdom was of a different type. He did go to war, but it was a far more serious battle. The victory He won guarantees that wickedness can no longer invade my heart. Through His blood it has been completely destroyed.
God, I thank You that You went to war for me. I am grateful that You abandoned heaven to invade earth. In a battle that cost You everything, You killed death and destroyed corruption. You invaded hell, kicked down the gates, and stole the keys. You did all this because my sin has separated me from You and this was unacceptable. Now, on the mountain, You proclaim good news. I can once again be at peace with You. The price has been paid. The invasion is over. I can celebrate with You forever. You are my King. You are my Savior. You are my God.