"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 3 New Beginnings

3.1.1 A Geographical Transition (Jn 2.12)

12After this he went down to Capernaum, and his mother and his brothers and disciples went also, and he remained there a few days.


As Jesus moves about in Judaea, Samaria, and Galilee in the first six chapters of the Gospel, the evangelist uses sections of geographic transition (however short) to mark this movement. As the account focusses more and more on Jesus' ministry in the Jerusalem area (from ch7 on) in particular, they cease to be so important, and the last two are less distinct from the surrounding narrative. Where they can readily be set apart from the surrounding narrative, as here, I will comment separately.

The synoptic tradition is ambiguous about the home or homes of Jesus' family during his recorded adult lifetime. At least Mark 3.19a-35 taken together with Mark 6.1-6 seem to imply that some at least of Jesus' family may have lived in Capernaum while others, including his sisters, continued to reside in Nazareth. Here the tradition behind John suggests that not only the adult Jesus but his whole family lived at Capernaum during the time of Jesus' public ministry.

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