This morning finds me spending another day in Israel for the first time, an absolute miracle with current health challenges and travel restrictions. Less than a week ago, I had given up all hope that this miracle trip would even happen. There is so many obvious things to savor on a trip like this, but nothing has been sweeter than my time in God’s Word each day after just seeing the literal places referenced in that day’s reading!

Here is a brief passage that especially resonated today and seems to summarize the trip thus far:

Lu 10:23-24 “And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

Privately, in this transitional section of the narrative, the Lord told His disciples that they were living in a day of unprecedented privilege. Old Testament prophets and kings alike had yearned to see the days of the Messiah, but had not seen them. The Lord Jesus here claims to be the One to whom the OT prophets looked forward—in other words, the Messiah. The disciples were truly privileged to see the miracles and hear the teaching of the Hope of Israel.

If we who have even more than the fledgling disciples are not careful, we feel like we are at a disadvantage to saints of old “who really saw God tangibly show up in their lives” or under-appreciate what we know of our God to which the world continues to be oblivious. May I remind you of the glorious, exclusive privileges that should take our breath away no matter where this post finds us today:

Every follower of Jesus, starting with me, has ears blessed with:

  1. Preaching of Jesus’ Word in my local church!
  2. Witness and power of Christ’s Spirit in my heart that followed the ascension!
  3. Seasoned disciples ahead of me in their walk with Jesus who speak practical wisdom and insight into my life…especially at key junctures! (This just happened again tonight over dinner in Magdala…the hometown of Mary Magdalene.)
  4. Words of affection, support, and even confrontation from my family handpicked by Christ Himself for my edification!
  5. A unified witness across every source of truth in my world whether it be archeology, science, and even the plurality of Scripture.

Every follower of Jesus also has eyes blessed with:

  1. Evidences of Christ’s sovereign rule over creation with every sunrise, every flutter of the breeze, and every lung breath/heartbeat in my own body!
  2. Inspired and preserved Word of Christ in my heart language to read, meditate upon, and memorize!
  3. Tangible testimony and worship of the local body of Christ!
  4. Measurable, progressive growth and change in my life and ministry that defies my own abilities!
  5. Needs in the lives of lost and saved alike that I am uniquely called and positioned to meet!

Yesterday I walked the streets of Capernaum (an unbelievable experience) mentioned earlier in Luke 10:15, “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.” Capernaum became the home town of Jesus after He moved from Nazareth. The seaside city was exalted to heaven in privilege. But it despised its most notable Citizen and missed its day of opportunity to SEE and HEAR from God Himself! And today? Today that city has been reduced to rubble and each of its citizens now inhabit an eternity of either heaven or hell based entirely upon their stewardship of what God mercifully sent their way in the Person of Jesus. Yes, dear friend, it is that big of a deal!

Lord, help me. Help your people, with such intimate access, to steward well what you are showing and speaking to undeserving us. Not just in the “Holy Land” but in every day steadily overflowing with your Holy Word and Spirit!

Here is a picture that we took of the very Capernaum house in which the Apostle Peter likely lived and therefore Peter’s mother-in-law was healed…now rubble in a city full of rubble that rejected the incarnate Word.