|My family and I recently traveled to Israel. In this next series, I’m thrilled to share with you insights into Jesus’ life and how He calls us to faith. In Capernaum, it was a gorgeous morning and we were in a beautiful synagogue where people worshiped in Jesus’ time. Next to the main worship area would have been a beit midrash where many young students would have studied the Torah, learned and memorized, read and debated.
The interesting thing about Jesus is that He was a rabbi at heart. And as a rabbi, he was fulfilling the Torah and the law of Moses. But He was also accomplishing something else. His messages were more about faith than they were about law. It’s a faith that He tried to teach His disciples over and over again. He attempted to show them the possibilities they would have if they believed God’s word. He encouraged them to act on their faith instead of just thinking about, believing in it, or just telling their friends about it. He wanted them to take risks and actually do something to prove that they really had true faith.
Friend, these principles of faith hold true for us today! Despite the fact that the Jews in Jerusalem may have been different from those in Galilee, it did not matter to Jesus. Possibly one sect was more charismatic or free-spirited, and the other was more conservative — which is no different than how the church is today. In spite of their differences, Jesus pressed the idea of faith on the people of God everywhere He traveled. There is no doubt that Jesus stressed the importance of having strong faith both then and now!