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This year an older Jewish man came to stay with us. He was an old family friend who heard we has made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) and wanted to see us and know how we were doing in our Jewish homeland. We talked of how our children were doing well in the Israeli Army, and moving on to establish settled lives in Israel. He was very pleased to hear all of this- a great Jewish “moving to Israel” success story.

Then we brought up Jesus.

We started to share of how, though we are Jewish, we also believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. He bristled and said that he was born Jewish, is currently Jewish, and he will die Jewish, and that he is not going to talk anymore about the subject. We backed off, of course.

Later we brought it up again and he started to pour out hurts and offences he had against Christians and shared with us why he was 100% closed to Jesus.

He shared…

When I was a boy, I would play with a Catholic family’s son. One day my friend and I were watching my friend’s father work on his car. His mom was sitting on the steps by the house, nursing their baby. We were all together.
“Try touching this liquid,” my friend’s father said to me.
“No! That is battery acid! It will burn him.” his mother exclaimed.
“It doesn’t matter. He is just a JEW!” retorted his father.
His words burned in my heart. I learned that Christians hated me and my people and were out to get us.

He shared more…

In our neighborhood, we (the children) all played together and were friends. Everything was fine until religion came up. One day, it came up that I was Jewish.
“Oh, in that case, you are going to Hell.” the neighborhood kids said.
“Why on Earth would I go to Hell?” I asked. “I’m as good a person as any of us”
“Because you are Jewish and the Jews killed Christ.”
So that was it, religion was the problem and Christians would condemn me because of my Jewishness, claiming my people were eternally condemned as Christ killers.

He shared more…

As a young child, I grew up in a community which had many Jewish families. Our Jewish heritage made us Jewish, but nothing external showed any Jewishness in any of us at all. We were secular Jews, not religious Jews. Actually the only reason any of us children knew we were Jewish was that our Jewish parents were continually telling us,
“Never tell anyone you are Jewish.”
“Never tell anyone you are Jewish.”
“Never tell anyone you are Jewish.”
My best friend’s dad (Jewish best friend) had grow up in a town where the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) was very strong and he vividly remembered seeing crosses burning in the cornfields. It was not safe to let it be publicly know that one was Jewish.

He shared more…

Around college age, I decided that I most probably wanted to be Christian. So I went to a church to make an appointment to talk with the pastor. The secretary said that the pastor was on vacation and that I should come to service on a Sunday. So I went to service that Sunday to talk to him. It turned out that he was still on vacation. The next Sunday I came to church again. He was still on vacation. The third Sunday, I went back one more time. That Sunday the pastor was there. I sat through the service as I had the last two weeks. Afterward, I went up to talk with the pastor.
“I want to talk to you about religion,” I said. “I have questions because I am Jewish.”
“You are a Jew?” he asked with careful questioning eyes.
“Yes, I am a Jew.”
“THEN GET OUT OF MY CHURCH!” he demanded with his arm straightened and finger pointed adamantly towards the door. “WE DON’T HAVE JEWS IN OUR CHURCH.”

It is never right to shut out Jesus and harden ones’ heart to the Holy Spirit, but we saw that our Jewish guest had many reasons for his hardness. We talked him through each one. His heart became softer and softer as each offense was worked through and let go.

We brought up Jesus again, but he was still determined that he was born Jewish, is currently Jewish, and is set on dying Jewish (this is a totally normal and very Jewish thought). And that that leaves NO room for this Christian business. We shared that Jesus actually was Jewish Himself and that all of His first disciples were Jewish and that even when they followed Him as Messiah, they still lived Jewish lives. (They still celebrated Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, and other Jewish Holidays and were culturally Jewish.) We told him that when an Italian comes to know Jesus, they do not have to stop eating spaghetti, but just to stop doing things which are wrong and turn to follow after Jesus. We are not called to forsake our culture and people. (As long as our culture is not one of Idolatry, sexual immorality, etc) And that he certainly does not need to give up being Jewish to follow Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. This was a very hard concept to take in, but the 3rd or 4th time we talked about it, it started to seem real to him.

Finally, it seemed that a door might be open for his salvation again. I shared, “I know what you should do. You were born Jewish. You are Jewish now. And one day you should die Jewish with Jesus as your Jewish Messiah.”
“I would like that,” he said. “How do I do that?”

YES! HALLELUJAH! BREAKTHROUGH! JUST THE WORDS WE WERE WAITING FOR!!!

So we explained to him the way of salvation and he left us that evening a new man. Hallelujah! We are still in contact with him now.

** If you would like to read more missions stories, Click Here.

Photo by Carmine Savarese on Unsplash

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Avatar Ann Hunter says:

    I read Dr. Brown’s book one of the hardest books to read because it will break your heart what Christians through the centuries have done to Jewish people. The book, Our Hands Are Stained With Blood.
    Then when Pat’s Jewish grandfather died and his mother was 10, her Gentile mother remarried and burned everything Jewish in their house and sent my mother-in-law away right after losing her Jewish father to live with her grandmother. She became a Christian and she taught Pat to be proud of his Jewish bloodline. We didn’t know much of what Messiah Jew was almost 28 years ago. Pat went to synagogues trying to understand as a boy but they were all in Hebrew and they turned him away because his parents weren’t with him. He longed to know more. He became a Christians and then when we married we went on a journey to know more. Now Pat teaches the Jewish Roots of your Christian Faith. I wish his Mom could have lived to see him grow into this because she did a great job instilling in him to not forget To honor that he was born into Jewish bloodline. He is 25% Jewish bloodline. Now he teaches others Jews and gentiles how knowing your Jewish roots enhances your Christian Faith!
    Great story you just posted. Can you imagine how Pat’s mother a ten year old you had celebrated all the Jewish holidays and Sabbath felt when she was sent away from even her own mother because she was Jewish. How she felt seeing all her Dad’s things that they had celebrated holidays with and his clothes burn in front of her eyes. So sad what has been done to them but we come with Good News they can keep all that and celebrate Yeshua too!! Ann Hunter

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