Come See the Bible

If you haven’t visited Israel, you haven’t seen the Bible.

Until I first visited Israel, I pictured the Bible as an epic story with Hollywood set pieces blended with Sunday school flannel boards. When I finally went, it was radically different than I ever imagined. What happened on that ground happened to real people in specific circumstances living in a world that gave voice to what God wanted to say. The Land speaks, and to walk it was to hear, to see, to know Him.

When I saw my first Biblical site I wept without knowing why. Today I understand: everything I knew of the Bible was believed in faith and now it was tangible—and tangibility and faith are mutually exclusive. In Israel they collided, and it was shattering: did I truly believe any of this? Did I really really understand it? Understand Him? It was a shock from which (I am happy to say) I never recovered. I believed, but now I knew. The rest of my life has now become the pursuit of knowing Him, which is why I keep going back.

One trip to Israel changed everything—my thinking about the world, how I teach the Bible and how live my life. More than 25 trips later, I’m still like a kid in Disneyland.

Come and hear the Land speak—O, the stories it will tell you! It’s His voice you’re hearing, and He wants to be heard.

Shalom,
—j

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