Lynette and I recently led our sixth tour group to the land of Israel. It was once again profound and deeply moving for all, and left me pondering my “WHY” behind the “WHAT” of leading Christians to Israel on an annual or biennial basis. 

The prologue to Paul Johnson’s exceptional best seller, A History of the Jews, in part helps explain my “WHY”… 

“…working on my History of Christianity, I became aware for the first time in my life of the magnitude of the debt Christianity owes to Judaism… these are the people who had given birth to my faith…”

I could not agree more with Dr. Johnson’s conclusion, and have great hopes that everyone will better know the God of Israel and give due respect to the people and land of Israel.

This is not to say it is a perfect place, land or people, but there is an imperative for recognizing that God has blessed this people in a unique way and calling — a calling perhaps difficult to understand until one visits this beloved land.

The Jews have given us the Bible. They gave us the foundation. They gave us the apostles and the prophets and they brought forth the Messiah, as Jesus Himself said, “Salvation is from the Jews.” John 4:22

God’s work through the Messiah, has made a way for anyone, anywhere, at any time to come to faith in God. What a gift!

As the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, in the same way the branch of Christianity cannot say to the root of Judaism and Israel, I have no need of you.

God loves Israel and the Jewish people. He also loves the descendants of Ishmael and the Muslim nations. He is known as the God of Ishmael as well as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He’s not partial, but invites any who believe to come and see that the Lord is good. 

I’m profoundly grateful for the call of God on Abraham. I’m honored to be of the “faith of Abraham” along with countless others from a wide variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. Along with my debt of gratitude to God, I feel deeply indebted to the holy calling of the Jews.

This is my “WHY.”