Visitors who want to walk where Jesus walked when visiting Israel discover that there are only a few such places. The city of Jerusalem has been destroyed and rebuilt so many times that the streets that Jesus walked on, for the most part, are 15 to 20 feet below the present surface.
But there are exceptions, and perhaps the most accessible is the first century steps that led into the temple during the time of Jesus. Mary and Joseph would have walked on these steps when they brought the baby Jesus to be blessed by Simeon, and here Jesus often walked with his disciples. In fact, scholars believe that Jesus would have often preached on the steps even as the rabbis did.
But—and this is most important—with his death and resurrection, Jesus is now the temple (see John 2:18-22)! The veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom, giving us access into the Holy of Holies no matter where we are in this world.
Let me encourage you to visit Israel, but rest assured that you do not have to walk where Jesus walked in order to have fellowship with Him, or to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Before His ascension, He assured His disciples that He was with them “until the end of the age.”
I considered it a privilege to preach standing on the stairs where Jesus walked, but an even greater honor is to know that this same Jesus is with me even when I return back to the United States.
We don’t need the temple if the Lord of the temple lives within our hearts!