You are on your way to the Grand Canyon. There is great excitement. When you get there though, instead of actually going to the Grand Canyon itself, you are shown pictures of it—even a movie of its history, but you never get to feel, touch and see the real Grand Canyon.
That is exactly the experience most ‘believer’ tourists have when they come to Israel and they don’t even know it! Your average tour here takes an eight to ten-day walk backwards in time. Oh, it is an amazing walk—a beautiful and enlightening walk—but still, a walk backwards.
Often I have led tours and heard people ask with amazement, “So, this is really where Yeshua grew up?” Or, “He really ministered here?” As a history teacher, I too get goose bumps while traveling around this tiny, but amazing nation. And yet…
Over 95% of the time people are so focused on where He walked 2,000 years ago that they fail to see the fresh footprints of the Messiah. You see friends, He is still walking and working and moving in Israel today!
Our girls outside the bus on a tour we led back in 1996
In fact, we are living in a season where God is reviving His promised ‘remnant’ of Israel, which is leading to a great revival in this Land! One so massive, that Paul says, “All Israel shall be saved!” (Rom. 11:26)
That is why it saddens me that groups by the thousands, represented by some of the largest ministries in the world, come to this country and never stop to realize that there is a growing, vibrant Messianic expression of the Body of Messiah that has been re-birthed in just this past generation.
Statistics are sketchy, but we believe that “in 1948, when Israel was reestablished as an independent nation, there were fewer than 100 Messianic Jews living in Israel!” Today it is believed that that number has swelled to between 15,000 and 18,000 believers! We have not seen such large numbers of Jews in Israel embrace the Messiah since the days when Simon Peter preached on the southern steps of the Temple Mount in Acts 2.
Our hope is that more and more believers who come to Israel will be aware of this miracle and demand from their Israeli tour companies to see the growing Messianic Jewish Movement—to see prophecy fulfilled before their eyes.
Immersing New Believers in the Mediterranean Sea
One of our favorite things to do in Israel is to meet with tour groups and share with them what God is doing today in our nation. We, the Messianic Jewish believers in Israel, have a story to tell!
So the next time you come to Israel, let me encourage you to ask your tour host BEFORE you sign up—Are we going to have contact with Messianic Jewish Israelis? And if you are hosting a tour, please tell your travel agent or tour operator in Israel that you want to visit a Messianic Congregation, you want to patronize businesses (hotels, shops, restaurants, etc…) owned by Messianic Jews and have someone from the Messianic body in Israel come to speak to your group.