Israel A few more thoughts on my recent trip to Israel …

Jerusalem would have to be the most fought over city in the history of the world. It has been controlled by so many different civilizations throughout the centuries – the Egyptians, the Jebusites (who King David captured it from), the Israelites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Muslims, the Turks, the British and now modern state of Israel (since 1967). You can still feel the tension in the air – religious tension (Jerusalem plays a central role in the three major monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam), racial tension, and political tension. No doubt, this tension is only increasing in our time. Commercialism is alive and well too – with markets, hawkers and moneychangers everywhere, including along the Via Dolorosa, the supposed route Jesus took to his cruel death by crucifixion at a place called Golgotha.

The humanity of Jesus comes to the fore while visiting Israel. Jesus was born as a man into a specific culture and grew up as a Jew. Understanding this is essential to understanding so much of Jesus’ thinking and teaching. Christianity is an off-shoot of first-century Judaism, though its roots go directly back to Abraham. There is much to learn from how God established and related to the Old Testament nation of Israel. Although, Christians see themselves as saved by grace through faith in Jesus, not through good works or obedience to the law, there is much wisdom in the ways of God and the principles we can learn from the heritage of men and women of faith from ancient times.

4 thoughts on “Reflections on Israel (Pt.2)

  1. As I was reading this post my heart raced. Since a young boy (when my Aunt gave me a Bible with photo’s of Egypt and Isreal) I have always wanted to go to the Holy Land.
    I am interested in what you felt when you were there … did you feel a ‘connection’? Do you feel that when you read the Bible now you will see it differently (in 3d?).
    Can you place some quality photo’s up on FlickR or something?

  2. After actually seeing the place, I find the context now comes alive when you read the Bible – the Sea of Galilee, with its surrounding villages that Jesus ministered in, was the most moving.

  3. Nicole,
    I understand – and there is no ‘education’ quite like travel.
    I recall how after having the priveledge to travel and spend some time in New York for work – when you have visted placed like Central Park and you watch ‘cop shows’ (most of which are based in NYC, many of which feature a crime scene in Central Park) – the whole thing takes on an entirely new dimension, you cannot experience until you have travelled there.
    Personally, I think all Pastors and Bible teachers should take a ‘pilgrimidge’ to the Holy Land.
    I know its not quite the Holy Land, but travelling to Isreal is firmly back on my own ‘bucket list’ – alondside diving the giant kelp forests of Tasmania! :-).

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