Reflection on Our Last Trip to Israel
“My wife and I had the opportunity of joining Passages Israel and a group of Christian leaders on a trip to Israel to witness the destruction from the October 7th attacks and visit the Kfar Aza and Netiv Haasara communities.
The past several days since being back have been difficult to process everything we had witnessed on this trip. It was a trip of visiting the communities that were attacked by Hamas terrorists and listening to the stories of those who were inflicted by the evils of that day. I’ve spent time wrestling with questions such as “what/how can I share what we experienced?” “how do I share to show the truth of what happened?” Or “how do I even respond as a Christian??”
As I’ve taken time to reflect, I wanted to start with this scripture and go from there:
”Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Our world today struggles with understanding the truth. As I have been pondering on John 14:6 the past several weeks, the words of Jesus became so much more clear to me. This passage of scripture made me realize that it is only the gospel that allows us to see the truth. The gospel tells us to die to ourselves, humble ourselves, and seek the truth that is found only in Jesus. It tells us that we live in broken world that is in desperate need of reconciliation and redemption.
Jesus. The way, truth, and life. Without the gospel, we would live in a sinful world of selfish gain and unwillingness to see our neighbors flourishment. The gospel brings both justice and love. It puts sin to death, while also bringing life to those who turn from it.
What happened on October 7th is an example of the sin and evil that exists in the world. We cannot deny that and we cannot call evil good and good evil. That is anti-God. And God couldn’t be more clear where He stands with that…
As believers of Jesus, we carry the most hopeful message the world has ever received. The gospel of peace. So how do we respond?
”"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.“ Matthew 5:9
I heard from a Palestinian Pastor (who has been burned alive for proclaiming the truth of Jesus while also loving/supporting his Jewish friends in a culture that calls for their extinction) talk about the righteous few stepping up amongst the Arab communities. He said it is these few that are standing up against the evils that have plagued their people and are saying there cannot be anything built to stand without deradicalization and without the truth of the gospel penetrating hearts.
The gospel humbles. The gospel listens. The gospel judges evil. The gospel brings new life. The gospel brings reconciliation. The gospel restores.
The gospel. Jesus. The only way. Truth. And life.
My prayer is that God will send more laborers for the gospel of peace. More who will undeniably stand for the truth and to reach out those who are hurting. For God to reveal himself to more of the “righteous few.” Those who will stand for the gospel. Stand for truth. And stand in love. This after all is our greatest commandment. Love God and love others.
There is so much hope in Israel, the Middle East, and the world. There is so much hope that is found only in the gospel of Jesus.”
- Written by Co-Founder David Peters
Link to a Jerusalem Post Article about our trip: https://m.jpost.com/christianworld/article-783236