Millstones at Capernaum

Millstones were manufactured at Capernaum from the volcanic basalt which is so common in the Galilee. The coarse texture was very suitable for grinding wheat.

Such millstones were not only used in Israel, but were exported from Capernaum to many other places. Capernaum was located on a major trade route, the Via Maris.

Millstones manufactured at Capernaum from volcanic basalt. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

On one occasion when Jesus was here at Capernaum with His disciples, He said,

But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me– it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea (Mark 10:42, CSB).

Capernaum was located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. In this teachable moment Jesus was using word pictures the apostles could relate to: To have a millstone tied about one’s neck and then thrown into the sea to be dragged down by that heavy weight and die such a terrible death! But Jesus is saying that the worst kind of death would be preferable to one’s being the occasion of someone’s being lost eternally.

What a powerful lesson, taught by the Master Teacher.  All of us have influence, and for that influence we will give account unto God; make it good!

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