Zvi Dec/Jan 1998/1999
This year, as every year, the people of Israel are facing with fear and misunderstanding the time when Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Some acquaintances approached me the other day and said, “Zvi, we are now very close to the day when your God was born. What do you want us to say to you? Congratulations?” I replied, “How blind you are, that you cannot see the truth about this one whom you so oppose, even though it is clearly written in the Bible, the Word of God.”
One of them said, “You are living in a fantasy world. Who told you that the Holy Bible speaks about your God? Oh yes, we know that your book, the New Testament, clearly speaks about Christ, but never have we seen one word about Him in our Jewish Scriptures!” I told him, “I am thankful that you brought up this subject. Let me show you a living fact that is written about Jesus Christ in our Jewish Bible.” Without waiting for him to respond, I opened my Bible and read Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” I then said, “There is more. Although you may find it hard to believe, Micah 5:2 clearly tells us about the place of His birth.” I then read, in a loud voice, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” I also read Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”
Of course, they did not believe that I was reading from the Bible and asked, “From which book are you really reading? What kind of stories are you telling us?” I replied, “I am not a rabbi coming to you with fictitious stories, trying to brainwash you. You are like people who are high on drugs. You have been poisoned, and that kind of poison is very hard to counteract.”
Then they took the Bible from me and started to examine it—like in the days before Passover, when people search their homes for leavened bread. When they realized that I was indeed reading from the Jewish Scriptures, they asked, “How did you find these passages? How did you come to the conclusion that your Jesus is God?” I replied, “As I just told you, I am not a rabbi who gives long commentaries on every word of Scripture. I believe God’s Word literally, just as it is written. I do not try to turn a little fly into a big elephant. Because you have listened to false teachers all your lives, you are in such deep spiritual darkness that you cannot see the light.”
Then they asked, “Who is your teacher?” I said, “The Lord makes His Word clear to me through the leading of His Holy Spirit. That is the key to understanding the Scriptures. If you will come to true faith in the Lord, rather than believing in your many idols, you will walk in the light that is found only in Jesus Christ. As it is written in Aboth [in the Talmud], ‘You must know from whence you have come and whither you are going.’ I realize that what I am telling you is far beyond your understanding, but it does not have to be that way. If you will read the Bible and trust in the Lord, I am sure that you will no longer ask questions such as you have put to me today. The Lord will fill you with His Holy Spirit, and you will have perfect understanding of His Word.”
By now, these men were looking at me suspiciously, but I knew with whom I was dealing—stiff-necked people, just as the Jewish people have been down through the millennia. I am always ready for such attacks.
After a while, one of the men asked, “What are you trying to cook up for us. What kind of porridge are you trying to feed us? You know that we have studied our old traditions for many years. Now you come and want to wash away everything we have learned. How can we accept what you are saying?” I told him, “You and your friends have grown up believing a false faith, worshiping idols. One of the most important things you do each day is recite the words of Deuteronomy 6:4, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lᴏʀᴅ our God is one Lᴏʀᴅ.’ Those words will be on your lips when you draw your last breath. However, you have neglected the rest of that chapter. Verses 13–14 say, ‘Thou shalt fear the Lᴏʀᴅ thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people who are round about you.’ Who is around you? Whom do you follow? False teachers! Also, in verse 20 of that same chapter it is written, ‘And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which the Lord our God hath commanded you?’ What do you tell your sons when they ask this? Do you tell them the fictitious stories told by the rabbis? Or, do you tell them what is written in the Holy Bible?”
Unfortunately, it was very hard for these people to understand what I was saying. But my duty, as a believer in Jesus Christ, is to present such people with the truth. This is the obligation of all believers.
Eventually they became very quiet, as if they were deep in thought, and our conversation soon ended. A few days later, however, some of them asked me for a Bible, which I was glad to give them, with the hope that as they read it, their eyes will be opened and they will understand what it says. Then it will be as it is written in Isaiah 9:2, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” That light is found only in Jesus Christ, our Savior. And then they will understand the true meaning of Christmas.