The Word Came Alive
K. R. Lee
This February God opened the door for me to set foot in the Holy Land for the first time. When our plane landed at the airport in Tel Aviv, my friend and I were so excited! We both had been eagerly anticipating the coming of this day. Our tour leader took us through the city of Jerusalem and I thought, “Wow, this is Jerusalem, the city I’ve read so much about in the Bible.” Then we were on to Bethlehem, passing through a check point, and finally arriving at our hotel in Bethlehem. The weather was beautiful!
Throughout this trip, the Bible came alive to me. In Ephesians 2:14, Paul states, “For he (Jesus Christ) himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” I had heard so much about the wars between the Israelites and the Palestinians. There were angry paintings and sayings on the walls within Bethlehem and along the streets and even inside buildings. There seemed to be so much anger and hatred among these people. However, God loves each one of them. In Bethlehem, we served Palestinian widows and orphans at two different refugee camps where we offered art camps to the children, served them lunch, and brought food packages to the widows. As we showed God’s love to them, they opened up to us. God’s love broke down all walls!
In Acts 10:38 in the Bible, we are told that Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were sick. In Jerusalem, we went to a rehab center to bless the wounded soldiers. One patient was paralyzed on his left side. Our team prayed for him and his fingers began to move. His wife saw that and began to cry. Later one of our members led her in a prayer to accept Jesus. I saw the translator was also touched and her eyes were red. Praise God that Jesus’ wonderful work still exists among His believers and He works through them to bless people!
One of my favorite places in Israel is the Sea of Galilee. The tour guide told us that the sun rises at about 5:30 a.m. So I got up and went to the pier at that time hoping to recapture some of Jesus’ experiences. In the dark, facing the sea alone, I meditated on what Jesus did there more than two thousand years ago. Scene after scene of Jesus’ ministry in that very same place flooded my mind. The scenes were so vivid! I was in awe of the fact that Jesus, the Son of God, did indeed come to earth and became one of us. I almost could see Him in my mind, a simple Jewish man, not tall but slim, having dark colored hair and beard. There was nothing special about His appearance that would draw people’s attention. I could understand why His people had a hard time believing when He declared Himself to be the Son of God.
Jesus was born in a manger, a trough made of stone in Bethlehem. For 30 years He lived in Nazareth, working as a carpenter, helping His mom support their family. Even His own siblings did not believe Him and ridiculed Him. His own people even wanted to push Him off a cliff. Yet when God’s timing had come, Jesus went to be baptized in the River Jordon. Some time after that, He defeated Satan’s temptation and then launched His ministry. Although He performed miracle after miracle, and even raised Lazarus from the dead in Bethany, His people still did not believe in Him. I was amazed that the Son of God would be willing to come to earth, humbly become one of us, go through rejection and betrayal, and even be crucified at Calvary by the very people He came to love and deliver. I was and still am deeply touched by God’s love for the world! In John 3:16, the Bible states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus Christ is the Son of God and son of man. By His death and resurrection, now He is our Redeemer!
When we visited Lazarus’ tomb, a crippled man was at the entrance. Some of our team members and I laid hands on him and prayed for him. I so wished that he could stand up and walk. As I was the last one to leave, I kept telling him that Jesus loved him and I saw tears in his eyes. Yet deep down in my heart, I was disappointed.I thought, “Jesus, if you were here, this man definitely could jump up and walk.” Even Jesus’ disciples, the two fishermen, Peter and John healed a crippled man.
After I came back home, I went to worship at my church that first weekend. My heart was still heavy because I felt that Jesus wants us to do greater things than what He did (John 14:12), but we could not even help this crippled man to walk. At the end of the worship, I served at the altar to pray for people. A young woman came to ask prayers for healing. Her right ear was deaf since she suffered from an illness when she was eight. After I prayed, I tried to speak to her right ear. She heard me! We both were surprised. (This showed my little faith!) Then I covered her left ear and spoke to her right ear only. She repeated what I said. Glory to God!
Having had such experiences in Israel, the stories in the Bible were no longer just stories inside a book to me. Jesus is alive and lives in those who believe in Him! Today God’s love for this world is the same. Jesus still extends His invitation, “Come, follow Me.” The question for us is, “Will we?”