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Judean Wilderness

Judean Wilderness toward Jericho

Highlights

Today was a great day as we finally made it to Jerusalem. On the way, we first explored Magdala, near Tiberius on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, a first-century synagogue. We then visited Harod’s Spring where God whittled Gideon’s mighty men down to 300. There were incredible ruins at Bet She’an which was one of ten Roman cities in the time of Christ near Jerusalem.  We stopped at the border between Israel and Jordan. There, I had opportunity to get into the Jordan River and had lunch. Toward the afternoon we went to Jericho and looked at the Jericho Plains. Finally, we ended our day going up from Jericho to Jerusalem and beginning to tour Jerusalem.

As we arrived in Jerusalem, our tour guide played a beautiful Jewish version of Jerusalem, The Holy City. It was touching. Here is a different rendition on YouTube of Jerusalem, The Holy City or a different version on here on Spotify.

For Your Consideration

There are two items I want to highlight today (of the dozens possible).

First, seeing the Judean wilderness reminded me of the significance of Jesus’ temptation. Matthew 4:1-11 describes Jesus as going out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. He was in this incredible wasteland fasting forty days and forty nights. It was then that Satan came to him three times to tempt Him. Being by Himself in the wilderness in these conditions alone would be enough to tempt the most spiritually strong person. However, Satan came to Jesus with the goal to tempt Him to sin. However, He did not sin. Instead, He answered Satan each of the three times with the Scriptures. He demonstrated His righteousness, He deserves worship, and He offers us help (Hebrews 2:10-18).

I couldn’t help but consider my own weakness to temptation sometimes. Often the context of my temptations are hardly even comparable in any degree to His forty days fasting in the wilderness, and, certainly, does not include direct temptations by Satan. I’m grateful that Jesus, Who perfectly responded to temptation in the wilderness, helps me in my temptations as the faithful and merciful High Priest.

Second, I could not help but hope and pray for the second coming of Jesus Christ. As I first looked out onto the Temple Mount, I saw the Eastern Gate sealed shut. When Jesus Christ comes again (Ezekiel 43:1-5), He is to enter Jerusalem through this gate. To prevent Him from coming, the Muslims sealed the gate during the rule of Suleiman and the Ottomans, and then planted a cemetery of Muslims in front of the sealed gate thinking that the Messiah would not set foot in a cemetery since He would become unclean.

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The Temple Mound with the adjacent cemeteries and closed Eastern Gate (Golden Gate)

However, I have news for them and anyone else who believes that a sealed gate would keep Jesus Christ from coming back. It is not going to work. Jesus will once again come again and liberate Jerusalem. In the process, He will rule and reign on the rightful throne of David. Oh what a wonderful day that will be.

So today’s two thoughts…

What a wonderful Savior Who is our merciful and faithful High Priest even when we so willfully at times go through temptations!

Plus, even so come Lord Jesus!

From this blog series:
Last post: Israel Day 3 – Around the Sea of Galilee
Next post: Israel Day 5 – The Garden & the Wailing Wall

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