Apples of Gold Jan/Feb 2020
Psalm 115:2 says, “Why should the Gentiles say, ‘So where is their God?’” It is our obligation before God to tell others about Him.
The Lord said, “I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47; cf. Isa. 49:6). As believers, we do not come with a big stack of books. We come with one book—the Holy Bible, which was written by the Holy Spirit of God.
Recently in Israel, a group of men from the ultra-Orthodox community were busy going from house to house carrying their many commentaries. When they saw me coming with my little pocket Bible, one asked me, “How can you come to speak about the faith with nothing?”
“You see this little book?” I asked them. “It is the Holy Bible. This is enough. It is all I need to go to the ends of the earth to bring His salvation. But you need a train to carry the stack of books you bring.”
They appeared extremely confident in themselves because they outnumbered me. But I remembered what Jesus told His disciples: “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Lk. 12:11–12).
I received great courage and was not afraid. They saw that I stood strong and that there was no way they could frighten me. So they went back and brought their teacher. This was my dream! For this moment I was waiting.
Their teacher came with great confidence that he would show me his wisdom and stump me in only a few minutes. But Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”
When they questioned me, I gave them answers only from the Bible. They were so surprised. “How did you come to know this?” one asked.
“I do not listen to false teachers,” I replied. “I put my trust in the Lord. I do not carry a big stack of fictitious stories and try to persuade people to believe they are true.” Then they began to despise me.
After three hours of conversing, I asked them, “Why do you boycott the words of the Lord that are written in the Bible?”
“We have never boycotted even one letter from the Bible,” one said.
“Not just one letter. You boycott a whole chapter!” I replied. They were surprised.
“Do you know what you are saying?” one asked.
“Yes, I know,” I said. “The fact is you boycott Isaiah 53. Why are you so afraid of that chapter?” I asked. “I do not ask you to read commentaries or believe in superstitions and evil eyes. I have only the Word of the Lord. So now I ask you to open your eyes and see the full truth.” They seemed unhappy and tried to end our conversation.
But their teacher wanted to show his pupils how wise he was. The rabbi began to shout, “We will never leave our rabbinical tradition! And you cannot convince us to believe in this man!” (Ultra-Orthodox Jewish people refer to Jesus as “this man.”)
“I do not believe in rabbinical traditions, but only what is written in the Holy Bible,” I said. “So think about what I have shown you. Your pupils want to know about whom I speak.”
“How blind you are that you do not even know that he wants to make us Christians!” the rabbi told his pupils.
“Rabbi, I have only spoken about what is written in the Bible, and you have concluded that I am speaking about Christ,” I told him. I think he realized he had implied Isaiah 53 speaks of Jesus.
I pray our conversation landed on fertile ground and that they one day will come to know the One of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke.
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