Israel Day One: Joppa



Greetings from Israel!

We arrived late yesterday after delay’s and a long flight, but the team is well and we started of our arrival with an immediate teaching stop at the old city of Joppa. We looked at two very important stories from the word of God concerning the great commission. 

Our theme on this years trip is to be “Gospel Driven”. We don’t want to leave Israel with more head knowledge, geographic insight, and just the experience; we want to pray for gospel transformation! Our prayer is to take what we experience, see, and learn and be more driven to live a gospel-centered life than ever before. 

Here is the challenge we are using concerning being Gospel-Driven: “

“The gospel-centered life is a life where a Christian experiences a growing personal reliance on the gospel that protects him from depending on his own religious performance and being seduced and overwhelmed by idols….Gospel-Centered People-They are driven by a love for Jesus and his work on our behalf. Gospel-centered people are focused on Jesus His Finished work, His Present Work, and His Future Work.”- Joe Thorn


We concluded our long day of travel with an overview of the Mediterranean Sea and a challenge from the life of Jonah and Peter about being “Gospel-Driven”. Here are our notes and pictures. 

Church Near The Traditional Site of Simon The Tanner (Acts 10)



1. II Chron 2:16-Port through which Hiram would float cedar for construction of Solomon’s Temple.

2. Ezra 3:7-Zerubabel and Jeshua received cedar from Lebanon for rebuilding of the Temple.

3. Jonah 1:3-Jonah fled from Jaffa to Tarshish.

4. Acts 9:32-43-Near Lod where Peter healed Aeneas, and later scene of his healing of Tabitha.

5. Acts 10:5, 6, 23, 45-Scene of Peter’s vision at the home of Simon the Tanner, place of his visit by messengers of Cornelius who brought Peter to Caesarea.

6. Acts 11:12-Six brothers from Jaffa accompanied Peter as he accounted for himself at church meeting in Jerusalem.

Teaching Time Overlooking The Mediterranean


 Lesson: The Mission of The Gospel: The Contrast of Peter and Jonah

 Jonah 1:1–3 (ESV)

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 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.

Jonah 3:1–2 (ESV)

1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.”

Jonah 3:4–6 (ESV)

4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Acts 10:34–43 (ESV)

34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

1. Gospel-Driven People Recognize The Mission of the Gospel is Purposeful.

2. Gospel-Driven People Realize The Mission of the Gospel Must be Obeyed. 

Roy Zuck writes, “When God calls His servants to carry out these decisions and be instruments of His grace to sinful men, they must obey, realizing that they too have experienced His mercy both corporately and individually.”

3. Gospel Driven People Understands The Mission of the Gospel Breaks Barriers

4. Gospel Driven People Believe The Mission of the Gospel is Powerful.

Matthew 12:40 (ESV)

40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.


About George Ross

I am a pastor, church planter, husband, and father of four.
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