The Best Gift
Holly, I hope you can speak with my son, Allen,” Tova began. “He’s turning thirteen and I want him to learn about Yeshua, like me. Maybe Stan or someone can talk to him.” Tova had come to faith only months earlier, and this headstrong Israeli woman wanted everyone to find out about Jesus, especially her son.
Holly (my wife) arranged for Tuvya Zaretsky, our chief of station to meet with Allen. Tova was absolutely delighted. Immediately she called her son: “Allen! You’re going to meet with someone from Jews for Jesus, and you will do everything he says! Is that clear?” “Yes, Mom…” Holly heard his faint reply over the receiver.
The next week Tuvya told Holly about the meeting. She was absolutely downtrodden. “Tuvya said Allen sat and listened, but didn’t say a word,” she reported.
“Was he interested?” I asked.
“Nah. Tuvya asked Allen if he had wanted this meeting, and Allen said no. Then Tuvya asked him why he had gone through the recent ordeal of his bar mitzvah lessons. Allen said ‘It was for the presents!’ Then he broke down and cried, so Tuvya left.”
Both Holly and I were dissapointed. Allen and his mother had gone through quite a bit in recent months. Then with Tova coming to faith, it was clear that Allen was confused as to who he was and how he was supposed to grow up. He just wanted to be left alone. Who could reach him?
We didn’t know that for the next few weeks, Allen faithfully attended church with his mother. A month later, Michael Brown, a Jewish believer and messianic pastor, called us. “Stan, when are you going to get together with Allen?” he inquired.
“Well, I didn’t think that Allen was interested in studying the Bible,” I replied.
“Interested?” Michael sounded surprised. “Why, he just prayed with me last Friday night to receive Jesus!” We were all dumbfounded.
I called Allen, and he was eager to meet with me. He knew us because Holly had been regularly discipling his mother. We got together that Tuesday when he came home from school “So, Allen, who do you think Jesus is?” I asked.
“Well, the Messiah, the Son of God,” Allen answered.
“Do you have a Bible?” I asked. Allen beamed and pulled out a copy of The Teen Bible. He was grinning.
“Have you read it?” I asked. “Some,” he responded.
I said, “If you could ask God any question you wanted, what would you ask Him?”
Allen said, “It would be how can I know for certain that now I’m going to go to heaven?”
Now I was grinning inside. How different this was from the person who had said only a month ago that he wanted to be bar mitzvah just for the presents.
We opened our Bibles to I John 5:11-13 and read, “And this is the story: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.”
“Do you believe in the Son?” I asked. Allen nodded his head. “Why do you believe in Him?” I continued.
“Because He died for my sins,” Allen responded.
Stan is continuing to meet with Allen, but this young man needs prayer, especially as he goes through adolescence. He will be dealing with potential ostracism at school because he is a Jew who believes in Jesus. Please pray that he will find other believing teens who will uphold him in his faith.
Stan Meyer is a missionary at the Phoenix branch of Jews for Jesus. Stan received his theological training at Fuller Theological Seminary. Stan and his late wife adopted their daughter, Carrie-Fu, from China in 2005. Stan married Jacqui Hops, a Jewish believer in Jesus, in August 2014.