Matthew introduces Jesus as a rabbi who is taking up his duties in a new home, on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus moves his home from Nazareth to Capernaum (Matt 4:13). It is here that he collects disciples: Simon Peter and Andrew live near the synagogue in Capernaum – although they are from Bethsaida; James and John are fishing on the shore near the town; Matthew the Tax collector has his office here (Matt 9:9). Mark’s Gospel records this as the town where the authority of Jesus first becomes evident.
Perhaps the truth is that the best leadership is local: if you and I were more faithful in speaking and living the truths of Jesus in our local community, God’s reign would take root more effectively than all the international treaties and conventions signed by governments. Pray that Jesus might find you a useful presence in your neighbourhood this year.