Day 6: The Mediterranean
Here on the Mediterranean coast, the good news of God’s coming kingdom was sent to the nations through the apostles.
The ancient city of Jaffa is located just south of the modern city of Tel Aviv. Here Solomon brought supplies to build the temple to usher the people into God’s presence, and here Jonah fled from God’s presence in disobedience.
In the New Testament, the book of Acts tells us that in Jaffa the apostle Peter experienced a vision with a clear purpose. Jesus wanted his message to be taken to Jews as well as non-Jews – otherwise known as Gentiles. It’s not a coincidence that God revealed this message to Peter in Jaffa, as Jaffa was a crucial port for Israel’s economy.
Another important city located on the beaches of the Mediterranean is Caesarea Maritima, or Caesarea by the Sea. Peter began the export of Jesus’ message by visiting Caesarea after his vision in Jaffa. He traveled up the coast and preached the gospel of Jesus to a Roman official named Cornelius who already believed in Israel’s God.
The Apostle Paul also visited Caesarea three times throughout his missionary journeys. At the end of his ministry, Paul was imprisoned for two years at Caesarea. In the examples we have looked at, both Jaffa and Caesarea represent the successes and even failures of God’s people in sharing his message with the nations.
These beaches remind us of the truth that even though the Mediterranean Sea serves as a physical border for Israel, it also represents the incredible responsibility given to us to take the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth. God’s promise and instructions are for us, just as for the apostles. There are many people around the world who wait for the opportunity to hear about God’s love through his Son, Jesus.
How can you spread the message of God’s love to the people in your life today?