And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.Mark 1:35-39
First Century Capernaum was a fishing village on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was a center for the fishing trade but was by no means considered to be a major metropolis. It is in this city that Jesus centered His Galilean ministry. He did not choose Jerusalem, which was a much larger city and the center of religious affairs for the Jews. No, instead He chose a small town among the “common folk” as the hub of His work.
Not only that, after spending a short amount of time there, Jesus leaves for even smaller venues throughout all the region of Galilee. This approach is the hallmark of true Biblical discipleship.
If Jesus wanted to reach thousands of people quickly but only on a superficial level, He would have centered His ministry in Jerusalem. He would have used the most public venues He could find. But that is how man does things, not God. Rather than being focused on reaching millions of people with a message of mass appeal, Jesus sought small groups and individuals, and spent a lot of time teaching them on a much deeper level. This truly made quality disciples rather than a large number of fans that knew very little.
Our focus today should be the same. Our training of disciples requires no more showmanship now than it did back then. We don’t need huge stadiums with rock concerts or million dollar book deals. We need to evangelize Jesus’ way. Deep fellowship with one other person or a small group is the key to truly making devout disciples of Jesus.