At the end of two days Je-sus left Sychar, and kept on to Gal-i-lee, and the folks there were glad to have him come, for some of them had been at the Great Feast in Je-ru-sa-lem, and had seen the things he did there. While he was in Ca-na, where he had changed the wa-ter to wine, a rich man who lived in Ca-per-na-um, and dwelt at the Court of the King, came and begged him to go home with him, and heal his son, who was sick.
This man had heard of the good works Je-sus did, and he had faith to think he could cure his son, if he would but come and touch him. To show him that he could do still more than this, Je-sus said, Go thy way, thy son is well. Full of joy and thanks the rich man left Ca-na, for he now knew that Je-sus could cure with a word, as well os with a touch, and he felt sure he should find his boy well, though Je-sus did not go near him. And such was the case, for on his way home he met some of the men of his house who had come to bring him the good news that the lad was healed. He asked at what time this took place, and when they told him he knew it was the same hour ur in which Je-sus had said, Thy son is made well. From that day he and his whole house felt in their hearts that he was the Son of God, the Sa-viour of the world.
The fame of Je-sus now spread, and all who could do so brought their sick to hit. to be healed. But the men of Naz-a-reth, the town in which Je-sus had been brought up, did not love and trust him. Once when he was in Naz-a-reth he went to church, and they asked him to read the Scroll to them and preach. Je-sus stands up to read, and makes choice of the part where one of the old seers told the Chil-dren of Is-ra-el of the Sa-viour, who would one day come
the sick and the sad, give sight to the blind, and bring good news to all. Then he closed the book, and said, These words have come to pass, for I am the Christ of whom the seer spoke. I am the Son of God, and he sent me to heal the sick, to make the deaf hear, the blind see, the lame walk, and to speak words of peace and joy to all men.
These words made a great stir in the church, and some of those who heard them were full of rage and scorn. They said that Je-sus did not speak the truth when he said he was the Son of God, for they had known him all his life and they knew him to be the son of Jo-seph. In their fierce wrath they thrust him out of the town and led him to the edge of a high hill to cast him down and kill him. But Je-sus knew his work was not yet done and that it was not time for him to die; so he passed through the midst of them and went his way.
As he stood on the shore of Gal-i-lee and watched the men at work with their boats and nets, great crowds came out to meet him.
He stepped in Pe-ter's boat and asked him to push it out a few feet from the bank, so that all the crowd could see and hear him. Then he sat in the boat, in full view of those on the shore, and taught the folks who were on the shore. When he got through he said to Pe-ter and An-drew, "Launch out to the deep sea and let down your nets for a draught." Pe-ter said, "We have worked all night and have caught no fish, but at thy word we will let down the nets once more." They did this, and the net was so full of fish that it broke with their weight. James and John, who were in the next boat, went to help them, and the load of fish was like to sink both ships.
When Pe-ter saw this, he fell at the feet of Je-sus, and owned his sins. Je-sus said, "Fear not, but come with me and I will teach you to catch men." So Pe-ter, An-drew, James, and John left their ships and nets and all that they had, and went with Je-sus, as they felt sure he was in truth the Son of God. He now had six friends with him, and in the course of time more came, till at last he had quite a large band. [A dis-ci-ple is one who learns (from and follows after another), and as these men came to Je-sus to learn of him, they were called his dis-ci-ples.]
The next Sab-bath day Je-sus preached, as was his wont all the time he lived in Ca-perna-um. There was a man who had a demon (in those days a man who had fits was said to have de-mons) and he cried out and said, "What have we to do with thee, thou Je-sus of Naz-a-reth? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God." Je-sus bade the de-mon be still and come out of the man; then it cried with a loud voice and came out, and at once the man was well and in his right mind. This was the first mir-a-cle of this kind Je-sus wrought.
From there Je-sus went to Pe-ter's house, and when he heard that Pe-ter's wife's mo-ther was sick, he took her by the hand and raised her up and healed her. These two good works were the talk of the town that day, and when the sun set all sorts of sick folks, and those that had demons, were brought to Je-sus to be cured. He cast out the de-mons and made all the sick folks well that night; and soon next day, long ere it was light, he stole off to a lone spot where he might talk to his Fa-ther, and pray. For though he was the Son of God he came to this world to be a man, and while he was on earth he had the same sort of griefs and pains that men had, and the same need of help to bear them.
But he had not prayed long ere Pe-ter and the rest came and said, "All men seek thee." Je-sus told them he could not stay in Ca-perna-um all the time, but must now go to the next town to preach. And he taught in all the towns, and his fame spread, and great crowds went to hear him. Near one of these towns a poor lep-er came and knelt at the feet of Je-sus and said, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." Je-sus said, "I will; be thou clean;" and at once the sores left the man, and he was made clean, and went off and told far and wide what Je-sus had done for him, so that sick folks came from all parts of Gal-i-lee to be healed.
Lep-ro-sy is a dread dis-ease, and one who is sick with it leads a sad life; for folks dare not go near him, lest they, too, should catch it. The lep-er knows he can not get well, but must die a slow death, for it does not kill all at once. [ED NOTE: Certain medications now can arrest the disease if used in time and correctly, but cannot undo the damage already done by the disease before the treatment]. It eats its way through the body bit by bit, and kills one part at a time: first the foot or hand, then the leg or arm, then the nose or ears, and so on --- it may be for years --- till this death in life comes to an end, and the lep-er dies.
Now sin is like leprosy, and kills the soul of him who sins in the same way that lep-ro-sy kills the body of the lep-er. First comes a small sin, and if one does not at once drive it out of the heart, it is soon joined by a lar-ger one, then by one still worse, and so on till no true life is left in the poor sinsick soul. Long ere Je-sus was born, one of the old seers said, "The soul that sins shall die"; but Je-sus came to save men's souls far more than to heal the sick.
The next time he was in Ca-per-na-um, such a crowd came to see him that they could not all get in the house where he was. A poor, sick man, who could not walk, was brought on his couch by his friends, and as there was no room for them to get through the door, they took the couch to the top of the house and let it down through the roof. When Je-sus saw their faith, he said to the sick man, "Thou art freed from thy sins."
Some of the scribes were not pleased when they heard this; they thought none but God could cure a man of sin, and that Je-sus had no right to say he could do it. As Je-sus could read all hearts, he knew what these scribes thought, so he told them he could make this man free from sin just as well as he could make him walk. He knew they could not see that the man's sins were gone, but they could see him walk; so he showed them a sign that they could see that they might have faith in one that they could not see.
So he turns to the sick man (who still lies on his bed with no more use of his limbs than if they had been cut off), and says, "Rise, take up thy couch and go to thine house." The man did as he was bid, and when the scribes saw him walk off with his bed, they gave praise to God and said, "We have seen strange things this day."
Je-sus went once more to the lake; and in his walk he saw a man named Mat-thew, and said to him, "Come with me." And he left his place and his work to go to Je-sus: he stayed with him all the time, and did much to spread the new faith and to serve the Lord. It was he who wrote the Life of Christ which goes by his name.