Joel of Jerusalem Aug/Sep 1977
When I went to the polling place to vote in the recent national election, I met several people I work with. Immediately, some of them wanted to know whom I was going to vote for. “You know that we do not have a Christian party here in Israel, so what will you do?” they asked. I replied, “I am sorry that we do not have a Christian party, but there will come a time when all of you will acknowledge Christ. You have your human heroes now, and it is hard for you to come to God. But you know, the leaders here in Israel are finding it easier to talk about the Messiah these days.”
They did not know what I meant, so I related to them a recent incident involving Teddy Kollack, the mayor of Jerusalem. He was asked many questions about the Temple in Jerusalem; Why it has not been rebuilt; should people give money toward such a project; and should people still come to the site of the old Temple to pray? In reply, the mayor said he wished the Messiah would come in our time, so that He would take upon Himself all of our worries.
When my friends heard this, they said, “. Are you crazy? If this is not true, you will be in trouble.” By this time there were many people standing around waiting to vote, and they were all listening to the discussion. I then showed to them a recent issue of the daily newspaper which contained the article about the mayor. They were very surprised, and I said to them, “If the leaders can speak about the Messiah, why can’t we speak about Him too? And, when I mention Christ, that word means Messiah.” “ No, that cannot be,” they replied.
About this time a school teacher entered the polling place and heard the last part of the discussion. He challenged the men to a bet about whether my last statement was true or not. The men were so convinced that the word Christ could not mean Messiah, that they took the teacher up on the bet. He then produced a Greek-Hebrew dictionary, showed them that Christ did indeed mean Messiah, and won the bet!
The teacher was understandably happy, and I asked him if he believed on the Messiah, that He is the One who gave us salvation through the shedding of His blood. He said, “I cannot give you an answer now, but I will read some history books I have at home, and then I will be able to give you a complete answer.” I said to him, and to all the others who were there, “You will find the right answer only in the Bible, not in any of the other books you may have.” The teacher then said, “This has been a good day for me. I have already made money from these men, and now I can earn some from you by betting that you are wrong in what you say.” I replied, “From me you can earn knowledge about something more important than money and all of your fantasies.” He wanted to know what knowledge I could give him, and I said, I can give you knowledge about the Lord.
I then got out my Bible, and we began to have a very interesting conversation, with the other people also taking part. They wanted to know where the Messiah was mentioned in the Bible, so I read to them some portions from Isaiah about the sufferings of Christ. At that point many of us were called for our turn to vote, but the people all said, “We do not have time now. You must wait because we are having a very important discussion!” Then one of the election officials came over to us and said, “It is forbidden to make propaganda for any political parties here.” I showed him the Bible and said, “Is this propaganda?” No, he replied. “In fact, would you please take a few moments to show me some things from this Book?”
In this place I encountered many people who wanted to know about Jesus, but never had the courage to ask. It was.a great privilege for me to be able to tell them about their Messiah.