The Holy Land is powerful. Its majesty brings a new reality to Scripture and the life of Jesus, revealing that He is who He says He is, both now, and then. Seeing where history was made and the world was changed by the hands and feet of Jesus engaging in these places is a transformational experience that I pray, one day, each of you has the opportunity to take part in.
I first visited Israel 22 years ago when my wife and I were invited on a familiarity trip for United States leaders to expand their brands in the country. Right away, I knew that my initial trip to Israel would not be my last. Photographs turned into motion picture scenes as I was blown away by seeing first-hand where the truth of God was revealed. Standing awestruck in places like Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee and the Garden Tomb, I couldn’t help but remember that we serve a good God who is fully human and fully divine.
The Son of God came down and touched the earth, living as a human, understanding what life for us is like including our sorrows, struggles and pains. Jesus felt the emotions that we feel and saw the brokenness of the world that His people live in, knowing how important it is for them to be a light for His Kingdom. The stories and people of the Bible truly came to life when I was in the Holy Land making the life, miracles and impact of Jesus even more real. I related tangibly and physically to Christ as my feet met the Sea of Galilee’s shore and I gazed at the Mount of Beatitudes. These locations reminded me that, as man, He knows what we go through but as God, He has the power to do something about it, meaning that He is our supernatural provider and brings calm to our chaos.
In the New Testament, many stories take place at the Sea of Galilee. One account in particular, recalls when Jesus slept through a raging storm, teaching His disciples the lesson that He is always there to offer guidance and peace even in the midst of turmoil. The wind and the waves obey Christ, and we must take that direction as well, to follow His will for our lives. I am aware that pressures and expectations can become overwhelming, especially when you hold a position of leadership. Paint the image of Christ calming the seas to be a reminder to place Him as the ultimate role model in your life as you go out to influence and care for those around you. If Jesus holds the power to ease the storming seas then He is more than capable of bringing peace to your chaos.
Not only are we promised that Jesus understands our needs and never leaves us but He also, throughout Scripture, outlines values by which believers are to live. One example, found in the Sermon on the Mount—the greatest sermon ever preached, delivered by the greatest preacher—tells us how kingdom people should think and live. Essentially directions for how God wants us to live, the Beatitudes are just as significant for leaders of today to model as they were the first time they were spoken on top of the Mount of Beatitudes.
Jesus instructs Christians in many areas including to care for the poor, to be merciful, to be peacemakers and to seek righteousness among other callings. When we take into account the directions Jesus has laid down, it helps us follow in His footsteps and lead others to a life glorifying Him.
Leaders today are faced with a lot of responsibility to guide and serve their people well. Look to the Word of God for instruction and strive to live a life connected to Jesus because He gives us the power to overcome and conquer anything in His name. Picture the locations where history was made, that are marked by the time Jesus walked this world, recalling the reality of His presence and power offered to us through a relationship with Him.
Dr. Tony Evans is the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. He is the author of several best-selling books, including Kingdom Man, Oneness Embraced, and Praying through the Names of God, to name a few. His new film, Journey with Jesus will be in theatres as a special Fathom Event on November 15-17. To learn more, visit www.journeywithjesusmovie.com.