On Saturday I saw a Palestinian kiss an Israeli.

It was a miracle.

Many of you know my friend Taysir Abu Saada (Tass). Tass is a Palestinian born Arab who was a hate-filled PLO fighter with Yaser Arafat and later met Jesus in a most remarkable way and is now one of the most love-filled men I have ever met in my life. Tass is preparing to return to Gaza City and minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some of the most spiritually needy people in the world. Tass and his wife Karen were with us for the entire Faith Life Weekend.

On Saturday Peri and I met in Solomon’s Porch with our Israeli friend Susan Marcus who has been our guide on our eight trips to Israel. Susan and Tass met for the first time a couple of years ago in Israel. Neither one knew the other was going to be at Solomon’s Porch. When Tass walked in and saw Susan sitting with Peri and me, he came over to Susan and gave her a kiss.

It was a miracle.

You think of a leg growing out or a disease being healed as a miracle, but a former Fattah fighter kissing an Israeli mother whose son lost a leg in one of Israel’s wars with its Arab neighbors is an even greater miracle. And the only explanation is Jesus.

People around the world will talk about love today, but Jesus is the one who can transform the heart of a sinner to love like He does. Jesus is the one who can draw people together who otherwise will remain hopelessly alienated. When Jesus called His twelve disciples, one was a collaborator who collected taxes for the Romans (Matthew) and another was a member of the Zealots, a resistance party who advocated the violent overthrow of the Roman occupiers (Simon the Zealot). These two men were poles apart and would have been mortal enemies — but they came together in their common call to follow Jesus Christ. No doubt there came the time when for the first time Matthew the tax collector and Simon the Zealot greeted one another with a kiss.

It was a miracle.

And those miracles of love are still happening today because Jesus is alive!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


P.S. Tass and Karen will be with us again this Friday night and Tass will be speaking at our Joseph Company breakfast on Saturday morning. If you have a vision for marketplace ministry and would like to join us for the Joseph Company breakfast this Saturday, please RSVP here or by calling our offices at 816-233-6367