What’s the importance of Israel for the Lord’s people? Israel is the beginning place of the Christian faith. Jesus was born here; Jesus called His first disciples here; Jesus served His Father here; Jesus defeated death and the grave here; Jesus birthed His Church here; Jesus ascended back into Heaven from here; and Jesus’ return will be here. What a special place to walk, witness, and worship!
Our journey today started at Caesarea by the Sea. The Christian faith crossed Jewish borders and came to Gentiles at this place (Acts 10).
Cornelius and his household heard the gospel, repented of their sins, trusted Christ as Savior, and followed Him in baptism in this place. Peter walked and preached Jesus in this area. Caesarea by the Sea is also the location of Herod’s port and the home of Pontus Pilate.
It was a moving experience to lift up Jesus in song and the Word in an expansive outdoor theater located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.
Leaving Caesarea by the Sea, we made our way to a once tiny village called Nazareth. Joseph and Mary called this area home. To think of walking in the place of Jesus’ early days was emotional and inspirational. Nathaniel even said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth” (Jn. 1:46)? We spent time looking at the mountains where Jesus healed people, where He raised a widow’s son, and where He was transfigured.
Later in the day, our focus shifted to the ministry of Elijah. We stood on Mount Carmel and read the biblical account of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). God heard Elijah’s prayer; He showed up that day; and He revealed His glory and power.
Many people said, “After spending time on the hillsides, streets, and waterways of the Holy Land, you’ll never be able to read the Bible the same again.” That statement is definitely true. Being able to see with my own eyes what I’ve studied and taught for decades has already allowed the Holy Spirit to give me a greater spiritual understanding of the Lord and His Word.
Thank you for praying for us! God is renewing, refreshing, and reviving our hearts! To Him be the glory!
Grace and Peace,