On Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem, He passed through Jericho. Leaving town, He would have walked between the palace buildings of Herod the Great, the king of Jews when Jesus was born.
The opulent palace straddled the ancient road Jesus traveled and connected to itself across a bridge that spanned the road. When Jesus passed beneath the bridge between the buildings of Herod the Great, He must have considered this paranoid king who tried to kill Him as a boy in Bethlehem.
Ironically, King Herod died in this Jericho palace while the true King of Israel lived to pass between its walls on His way to lay down His life.
As Jesus and His disciples leaned uphill toward Jerusalem, they walked a well-traveled road called the “Ascent of Adummim.” This wasn’t the first time Jesus walked this road.
Nor was it the first time He used it as a setting for teaching us a lesson.
The main advantage of archaeology lies in its ability to bring twenty-first-century readers into physical contact with the cultures in which Jesus and his apostles lived and ministered.
All my life as I’ve studied the Bible and heard it taught, reading the odd list of Canaanite names feels like driving over potholes. I think, Why doesn’t somebody fill in those holes?
In fact, most of the time when I hear preachers read the list of “Canaanites, Hittites, and Jebusites,” they typically add “Termites” to the list just to get a laugh. We chuckle because—if we’re honest—including those Canaanite names seems a bit ridiculous—and irrelevant.
What difference do all those “—ites” make to us? In this post I’ll give a simple overview of these names, who they were, and where they lived.
But more importantly, I’ll share what difference they make to us today.
Our plans are no less ours because they are His.
I’ve had a number of people tell me they’ve heard my tour to the Holy Land this fall is full. If you’ve wondered if there’s still room for you, I have good news.
(Explaining the Second Coming of Jesus on On the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple Mount)
We still have space on our tour, but I urge you to reserve your place today. Why? Because this is no ordinary tour to Israel.
This will be an exclusive, one-bus tour devoted entirely to following the life of Jesus . . . from His birth in Bethlehem . . . to His ministry in Galilee . . . to His death and resurrection in Jerusalem . . . and His ascension from the Mount of Olives.
“Wayne Stiles has a unique gift for bringing the biblical world into our own. Some teachers are history gurus, but they can’t translate their research into how it affects us today. Wayne is superb at doing this in his books, on his blog, and at the sites. He is passionate, accurate, and faithful.
I’d encourage you to take the opportunity while you can.”
—Dr. Todd Bolen
Learn the life of Jesus by walking where He walked.
On this tour, I will help you understand the life of our Lord as we connect the Bible and its lands to your life every time we stop—and all along the way.
Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.
My prayers don’t go far enough. Maybe your prayers need some stretching too. Often our prayers begin and end with asking God to change the way things are around us.
Our prayers have a familiar pattern:
- “Provide enough money this month”
- “Protect us as we travel”
- “Heal my friend from pain”
These are fine prayers, and all legitimate, but incomplete. They just don’t go far enough.
Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane helps us stretch our prayers past our pain.
God’s design for a tree includes winter as much as summer. In fact, the dormant season remains essential for a tree’s growth. In a way, we are very similar to a tree.
(Photo: By zause01. Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
God has gifted each Christian for a purpose. But like a tree, our gifts have seasons—and sometimes certain gifts may lie dormant for a time—untapped.
In my last post, I offered 3 perspectives to consider when you aren’t being used to your full potential. Here they are:
- Remember who your gifts are for—the church, not you.
- Seek fulfillment in faithfulness rather than in the exercise of your gifts.
- Refuse to get your identify from your gifts. See yourself as God’s servant.
In this post, we’ll add 3 more to the list—including one truth that has set me free when it seems my potential is untapped.
In life, you seldom drift into a good spot. If you don’t have vision and don’t take initiative, you will likely be marooned in mediocrity.
You are gifted. God has made you unique and given you a number of natural abilities and spiritual gifts “for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). There’s just one problem.
You feel you have much more to offer than your situation allows you to contribute. Am I right?
Honestly, I think most of us—all of us—find ourselves not utilized as much as we could be. In fact, the Bible shows 3 reasons your full potential isn’t being tapped.
(And why that’s a good thing.)