Wednesday, January 25, 2012
This is ruin of the synagogue at Capernaum. When we stood in it we were told it was the synagogue that Jesus attended. I could imagine Jesus' expelling the "unclean spirit."
Since coming home I have read that it is from the second century! And more recently I read it was from the 5th century! What scholars seem to agree on is that it is the best preserved synagogue in Israel. It is made of marble and is very beautiful inside as well as outside.
It looks to me that Mark (1:21-28) intends this incident of expelling the "unclean spirit" to be the first "skirmish" in the war that Jesus wages against evil. Unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark doesn't have the three temptations in the desert. In 1:13 all Mark says is "He was in the wilderness for forty days, tested by Satan." It's as if Mark wants to highlight the opposition of the Holy One of God against this unclean spirit as the first of many battles.