Zvi Mar/Apr 2010
We often have many surprises in life. And so it was one week when a neighbor came to my home to confront me about my faith in Christ. He was not friendly and was full of confidence that he could outsmart me and show his friends how he fights against those of us who believe in Jesus. In fact, making trouble for us is his greatest joy.
So he began to insult me. Then he asked, “Can you give me the answer to my question? What is the greatest wisdom on Earth? Since you say you worship God, tell me what is written in the Holy Bible. Can you give me the correct answer?”
I replied, “You call yourself a good man who worships the Lord according to what is written in the Bible. So why ask me this question? You tell me what is written in the Bible.”
“But I want you to give me the answer,” he said. “What does God want us to do?”
I told him I would indeed answer him from the Bible. “I do not do as you do. You spend your life reading fictitious stories composed by rabbis. And you believe the stories and worship the rabbis, rather than follow what is written in God’s Word. You think you are full of wisdom, but you are very far from faith in the Lord. You worship men instead of God, and you believe falsehoods instead of truth.”
“I know in whom you have believed,” he said. “You believe in This One,” meaning Jesus.
Soon his friends arrived to help him. Now he was even more confident. One asked, “Show us about whom you have believed. Is it written about Him in the Bible?”
“Ah. Now we have come to an important point,” I said. And I read to them from Isaiah 53:
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lᴏʀᴅ has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (vv. 5–6, 12).
Immediately they all began jumping up and down. “Where is this written in the Bible?” they demanded. “You have made this up! This is not in the Bible; and if our rabbis were here, they would put you in your place!”
“If I show you where this is written,” I asked, “what will you say?”
“We would have to think about what to do,” one said.
“I did not write the Bible. Here. Take this and read for yourself,” I said, handing them my Bible. “I have read this portion to many people just like you.” So they began to read. And they began to open their eyes and, with time, their hearts.
After a while one said, “You must be a man of wisdom. So, do you have a good answer for us about wisdom?”
“My answer is also from the Bible,” I replied. “It is what the Lord says, not what I say.” They were all interested to know what I would read. This time I gave the Bible to the man who was so much against me. His friends had started listening to me, so the man told them to be careful and not speak to me because I was dangerous.
But they wanted to know what the Bible said. So I read, “The fear of the Lᴏʀᴅ is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10).
After that they started to ask me many questions and wanted to know where I learned about faith. I told them I read the Bible. And because I know the Lord, I am full of wisdom and try to do His will. I also told them He told His servants, “Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves” (Lk. 10:3).
Then they became angry and hostile: “But people who believe in This One, as you do, are no longer Israelis and have no right to be here!”
“Is that so? And how about you?” I asked. “You say you are such faithful Israelis. Have you fought for this country in all the many wars we have had? Did you fight in the War of Independence in 1948?” Of course, none of them fought in any wars because the ultra-Orthodox do not join the military.
“I suppose you will tell us that you took part in all those wars,” one said sarcastically.
So I showed them my army papers. Then they began to listen more intently and asked many questions. And they also wanted to know how I came to know Jesus as my Savior.
So I opened my Bible and taught them about the One who was wounded for their transgressions. We had a long conversation. It was a big surprise—and a welcome one.