As Jesus launched His ministry in the Galilee area, one of His first tasks was to call disciples. The Gospels tell us Jesus called 12 extraordinarily common men and exhorted them to drop everything and follow Him. According to John 1:43-49, as Jesus was traveling to the Galilee area, He beckoned a man named Philip to follow Him. In turn, Philip told his friend, Nathaniel, they had found Jesus of Nazareth. To which Nathaniel quipped, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?“
Well, let’s be clear, Jesus Himself was not well-received in His own hometown, but good things are definitely coming out of Nazareth today! Yesterday, we highlighted the son of a Muslim imam who gave his life to Christ and is now sharing the Gospel with his people in the Gaza Strip. Today, I invite you to consider another example of God’s miraculous move among Arabs in Israel.
Today, Nazareth is primarily an Arab city, and is home to Jesus the King Church, pastored by Saleem Shalash, a sold-out, fully dedicated follower of Jesus. Pastor Saleem is an Arab and was one of the first pastors trained at Israel College of the Bible. Here are just a few of the ways he and his congregation serve as the voice, the hands and the feet of Jesus to Arabs and Jews in Nazareth:
- Evangelism and baptism – offering eternal life found only in Jesus Christ!
- Back-to-School project – providing backpacks full of school supplies to Arabs and Jews in need.
- Providing food hampers to those in need (Arab and Jew), particularly those who have lost their jobs during the COVID outbreak.
- Going to people’s homes (Arabs and Jews) who have requested prayer, to provide prayer and encouragement.
- Providing a “clothes closet” for those in need of clothing (Arabs and Jews).
Pastor Saleem is a man of great faith, and here he is teaching a short lesson about faith the size of a mustard seed:
So, I ask you…can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Absolutely yes…the Gospel of Jesus Christ goes forth through a faithful Arab pastor and his congregation!
Come to Israel with us in February 2021 to meet such men as Pastor Saleem! God is moving in mighty ways in Israel and I want to share the experience with you! Find out more at 2021 EXPERIENCE ISRAEL TOUR, or email me at Looking4theBlessedHope@gmail.com. Seats are limited, but you are invited to fill one of them! See you in Israel in 2021!