Zvi Mar/Apr 2004
Not long ago I received a nice visit in our home from four men who considered themselves extremely pious. They believed they were fighting for justice and righteousness; and wherever they went, they handed out pamphlets called “Struggle.”
And against whom were they struggling? Against us! They came to my home, not because they knew who I was, but because they were going from house to house warning people not to have any contact with those of us who believe in Christ.
Our home is always open to everyone. We receive everyone with kindness and in the friendliest way we know, even if we know that our visitors are not friendly toward us. We give them something to eat and drink and try to show much love. Such hospitality is what the Lord expects from us and teaches in His Word.
So we gladly invited these young men inside. After they finished the refreshments we provided, one asked me, “Can we have a nice conversation?”
I already had noticed their brochures, so I knew what subject they wanted to discuss. In fact, I had been waiting patiently for this discussion to begin. It is not every day that you have an opportunity to speak with such people, particularly in the comfort of your own home!
“We are those who are fighting for sanctification of the holy name,” one explained.
“How can you say you are so holy,” I asked, “when you teach hatred against those who do not believe as you do? We know that in the Lord is no hatred, only love. It is clearly written that we are to serve one another in love, not in hate.”
Now they began to look at me differently. “Where did you learn all these nice words?” one asked.
“Believe me, I did not learn them from the many commentaries you read. What I tell you is of faith. But if you do not have faith in God’s Word, then you must live by the sword. And this is how you are living.”
“So, tell us,” said another, “where you have learned all this.”
Now we arrived at the most important point. For this opportunity, too, I had been waiting. I could not tell them at the beginning that I believed in Christ because they would have fought with me, and then left. To such people you must bring the truth gently, step by step. I could tell that now they were interested in what I had to say. And so it was time to begin.
“How do I know all this?” I asked. “I know it because I read the Bible. And I never boycott any portion of what was written here by the Holy Spirit of God, as you do.”
“How can you say we do such a thing?” one asked.
Now had come the time to tell them the full truth. This truth was important for them to know because they have spent their lives studying commentaries alone. So I opened the “forbidden chapter” of Isaiah 53. Whenever I begin to read this chapter, I never have to tell people in whom I have believed. This chapter says everything, and they know immediately.
After I finished reading, one man said, “Without you telling us, we now know in whom you have believed. We know who we are with in this house.”
They began to ask me one question after another. They also asked, “How could you change your faith? You were Jewish and now you are a Christian.”
This time I replied, “Have a good look at me, and ask yourselves something.
You came to my home with a great stack of books. There are four of you. But not one of you brought the Holy Bible with you. Look at what I am reading from. All I have is a Bible. In here you will not find the rabbinical traditions that you worship so carefully. In here are written God’s Words, which tell about true faith in the Lord our God.”
Then I read them the entire chapter of Deuteronomy 6, which includes the Hebrew Shema, one of Judaism’s most important verses:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Masoretic text, vv. 4–6).
It is also written there, “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him” (v. 13). “Whom are you serving?” I asked. “You are not serving the Lord.”
Finally they had had enough. But they left on friendly terms, with much to think about.