Apples of Gold Sep/Oct 2020
We have been living in our neighborhood for many years and have developed good relationships with our neighbors. Some of them know I believe in Jesus because I told them, and others found out through rumors.
Recently, one of our neighbors showed up at our door without an invitation. But our home is open to everyone. My wife always cooks more food than we need so that if someone stops over, he or she can eat with us. This man came at lunchtime, so he sat and ate with us.
He believes in the “evil eye” superstition. Some Jewish people believe this so-called evil eye can harm them if they do not ward it off with special amulets. “May the evil eye have no power over you,” he told me at his arrival.
After we ate, he asked me to go to his house so he could teach me about the “real faith.” I was happy to accept the invitation so that he could not say I went to him to try to take him away from his faith.
His house was filled with many old posters, each one having a special meaning. “I have compassion on you,” I told him. “In my eyes, all of these things are nothing more than vanity of vanities, emptiness, and the vain pleasures of this world.” His family looked shocked.
“How can you say that?” he asked. “Do you know the great meaning of these posters?”
“Yes, I know very well,” I said. “This is what King Solomon wrote about in Ecclesiastes 1:2: ‘Vanity of vanities; all is vanity’ and in Proverbs 31:30: ‘Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain’” (KJV).
“What kind of Jew are you that you do not believe in our traditions?” he asked.
“I believe in the living, almighty God, not in all those fictitious traditions from those false teachers,” I said. Then I showed his family my Bible and read Deuteronomy 6:13: “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him.”
They were so surprised that I read from the Bible. “People have told us you believe in This Man,” he said. Orthodox Jewish people refer to Jesus as “This Man.”
“I believe in Yeshua Hamashiach [Jesus the Messiah] because I read the Bible. I do not follow after your many posters or listen to those who try to convince me to believe in their many superstitions,” I said.
“Have you come here to tell us we are so blind that we do not know in whom we have believed?” one asked.
“Yes,” I answered. “I came here as one who believes in the right way and to warn you from this evil way and tell you to worship the Lord, not superstitions.” They became upset with me.
“Take one of these posters,” the man responded, “and you will see the amulet’s power.”
“I put my trust in God,” I said. “As it is written in the morning prayer, ‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart.’ I love Him with all my heart, and I do not worship other gods, as you are doing. Take a good look around you and ask yourselves if you are on the right path.”
“You want us to believe in This Man,” he said.
“I want you to believe in the living God. As it is written in Psalm 118:8, ‘It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man,’” I said.
After a long discussion, he asked, “How have you come to the conclusion that This Man is the true God?”
“I am not like your rabbis who only believe what they want to believe from the Bible and erase the parts they do not like,” I answered.
“It cannot be that they do this,” he said.
Then the perfect opportunity arrived to show them Isaiah 53. “Have you ever read this chapter in the synagogue?” I asked.
“No. We have not,” he said.
“This chapter contains the truth about Yeshua Hamashiach, whom you call ‘This Man.’ Your teachers forbid you to know the truth. Now, take your time and read this passage slowly and think about it,” I told him. I pray they will put their faith in Jesus alone for protection and stop relying on their many useless amulets.
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