If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that I love Israel, and that I love the Nazareth Village there!
I wrote about it HERE a month ago when we were there with our JV team, visiting this beautiful place that reenacts what Nazareth was possibly like in Jesus' day.
Honestly, every time I'm here I think more about Jesus, envisioning him, his life on earth, and what he did for us.
It seems like every guide (we've had a different one every time) adds a new piece that helps me picture his life more clearly. Such as...surely he was around donkeys! And surely the wildflowers grew around there back then as they do today! Did he pick bouquets of them and take them to his mom??
When he passed by the shoots growing out from the olive tree, did he think about the fact that he was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 11:1 or 53:2? Growing up like a tender shoot, a shoot from the stump of Jesse? (I need my Hebrew scholar son, Tyler, to explain why that has the significance that it does!)
For the first time, I saw almonds growing on the tree. Jesus must have seen those too! Did he and his siblings or friends pick them off the tree when they were ripe?
When he saw all the colors of the wildflowers, did he remember when he and his Father created them?
And who were the people in his every day life? Were they women like Hannah, the weaver in the Nazareth village?
I had a delightful personal conversation with her today where she found out that I am also a true believer! My friend, Polly, captured her crying out, "Praise the Lord for my born again sister!" She then prayed for me, a prayer of blessing for more fruitfulness for the Kingdom of God. What a treasured moment with her.
There were so many other sites there today that again brought me closer to Jesus, seeing things with my own eyes that he most likely saw too. How thankful I am for those who had the vision to create this village in order to give us a clearer picture of his life.
After our time there, we headed up to the Nazareth Precipice.
This is the traditional spot where people believe Jesus was brought to be thrown off by his own people from Nazareth (they didn't!). While we don't know if this is the exact spot, we do know from Scripture that many in his town did not believe he was the Messiah so wanted to be rid of him.
Dave spoke from up here about how we can know a lot about Jesus, like those he grew up with in his own hometown, but not have faith in him. It's a powerful teaching, one that I again soaked in this time. I don't want to just know about Jesus, but to believe IN him.
Oh may our faith continue to grow ever stronger in him!
From this spot, you have a nearly 360 degree view of so many biblical places, including the plains of Armageddon, where the Bible says the final battle will take place someday. With it so beautiful up here, it's hard to imagine that, honestly.
What I DO know is who wins the final victory!
One day every knee will bow and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. No longer will there be any curse. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. And we will reign with him forever and ever.
Jesus himself said, "Look, I am coming soon!" He says that he is "...the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End...the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
AMEN! Come, Lord Jesus!