We arrived at the Tel Aviv airport about an hour and a half ago. After a flight to Atlanta, an 8 hour flight to Paris, and then more than a four hour flight to Tel Aviv, not to mention the fact that we lost 8 hours today as we crossed time zones, Kim and I are exhausted!
But, I’m excited about the opportunity to walk where Jesus walked and visit many of the sites that are mentioned in the Bible!
I took the following picture of the food court in the airport to show that this place is more than rocks and ruins.
I’m excited and can’t wait to take pictures and video and write about the reflections from some of the archaeological ruins and sites that have been preserved by the Catholic Church.
But this city definitely has the signs of prosperity. There are plenty of high rise buildings in the downtown area. And the traffic is “every-man-for-himself.” The following video clip is tame compared to the rest of the harrowing ride Kim and I had from the airport to our hotel.
We were almost hit a few times, we almost rear-ended a couple of cars, and were spit on by a guy on a motorized bicycle.
Anyway, here are a few pictures from the 12th floor of the hotel we are staying at tonight.
Tel Aviv is Israel’s largest city with a current population of around 432,000.
(Jerusalem has a much larger population of around 801,000 but part of it is claimed by the Palestinians – so the Jewish population is less than Tel Aviv. Both Jews and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.)
The U.S. Embassy was recently moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The opening ceremony took place on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Biblically speaking, Tel Aviv is significant. If we go back in time around 2,700 years, we realize that this city once had a different name – Joppa. (Old Testament Joppa forms the southern part of Tel Aviv.)
It was here that Jonah, fleeing from God’s call on his life, hopped on a boat and headed for Tarshish. Somewhere west of here, in the waters of the Mediterranean, a big fish had lunch that day.
Jonah 1:1–3 “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.’ But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.”
It is also here that the Apostle Peter raised someone from the dead.
Acts 9:36–43 “Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, ‘Please come to us without delay.’ So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.”
Finally, it was here that Peter had a vision in which God declared all foods “clean.” Peter also understood that the vision declared all people’s “clean,” too. Jewish Christians were not to look down on Gentile Christians (see v. 26, 34-35).
Acts 10:7–16 “When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.’ And the voice came to him again a second time, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.”
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