Joel of Jerusalem Jun/Jul 1978
In preparing for my trip to the United States, I had matters to attend to at the American Consulate here in Jerusalem. While at the consulate, I talked with some of the religious Jews. Two weeks later, as I was passing through the Mea-She’arim Street (where many of the ultra-orthodox Jews live), I met one of the men whom I had spoken with before.
“I know you,” he replied. “How do you come here without fear?” I’m not in a jungle, so why should I be afraid?” I asked. “But you know we do not like your message which you want us to believe.” “It is not MY message, as you say. It is OUR message, that we believe on the Lord. I didn’t come to you with a new declaration from a political party. This is what the Lord has given for His nation in the Holy Bible. If you don’t believe the Bible,” I said, “then we have nothing to discuss, except the world situation, and I will go home.” “No,” he replied. “My home is near here. Please come. We can talk there.”
As his wife offered me a cup of tea, he asked her, “Do you know who this man is? He is a Jew, but he believes on Jesus.” “Oy! Gevalt! How can this be?” she exclaimed. “Why do you speak with him and bring him into our kosher home?”
She turned to me and asked, “Now that you are in our home, what do you want us to do, believe on your God, Jesus? There is only one God!” “I believe on the one true and living God,” I replied. “But how can you believe on the same God as we do, when you believe on Jesus?” she asked. “Only Christians believe on Him, but I’ve never heard of a Jew believing on Jesus.” “That is why I came to you,” I replied, “so that you would know the truth, the truth about the One whom you have hated so.” “Why shouldn’t we hate Him?” she asked. “He has turned the world against us, and you know what has happened as a result. What are you trying to do, make Him seem innocent after His death?” she asked. “I can see that I have come to you at the right time, to show you the truth,” I replied. “He was born perfect because He was the Son of God, and He is not dead but alive. That is why I believe on Him. You can believe too.”
“But what about the hatred you mentioned?” she asked. “The Lord said, ‘Do good to them that hate you.’” I replied. “The Lord also talked about love. Do you want me to show you what He said?”
When she replied, “Yes,” I opened up my New Testament and read for them Romans 12. When I finished, she replied, “That is written to Christians.” I said, “If so, then I will read for you something special to the Hebrews.” “It will be interesting to hear what He wrote for us,” she replied. I then read for them Hebrews, chapter 11. When I finished she said, “It is the same as from our Bible.” “Yes,” I said. “I told you before that we do believe on the same God, the same Bible, the same prophets, and we are living in the same Promised Land of God. If you want to know more about the Lord, you can read Isaiah 53. Many portions of the Book of Isaiah refer to the Lord Jesus. You can read also the New Testament in Matthew 5, 6 and 7, what the Lord said to the people on the mount. The people who believed Him were Jewish.”
They asked me how, when and why I came to believe on Jesus. It was my privilege to tell them. I had waited a long time for this opportunity and thanked the Lord for their interest. To my surprise they accepted a New Testament from me. Please join me in praying for these dear people that the Spirit of God might open their eyes to the truth of His Word.