Students Aren’t Always Easy
Sometimes students can be the hardest people to whom we minister. It’s not that they are uninterested. It’s just that they’re usually convinced that they are the busiest people around and couldn’t possibly have time to get together for a lengthy talk. Yet when the time is right, they will talk. It’s a challenge, but it’s worth the effort and the patience.
Jenny was that kind of student. I met her last year at the University of California, Berkeley. Our relationship began with her hit-and-run comment to me as I stood on campus handing out our Jews for Jesus broadsides.
You’re weird!” she said as she hurried by.
“Why? Why am I weird?” I called out.
She hesitated but at first wouldn’t come back to talk. She said she didn’t have time. But after I called out to her a second time, she did come back. After we talked for a few minutes, she decided that maybe I wasn’t so weird after all. She said that she might even like to get together with me for a discussion some time.
Even though Jenny gave me her name and address that day, it was hard to arrange a time for us to meet. Through the course of that year I managed to visit with her twice. Both times we chatted casually, and then I presented a little Bible study on messianic prophecy. I talked to Jenny just before she left Berkeley to go home for the summer, and to my surprise she gave me her home address, too.
I wrote to Jenny before she was due to return to school, but somehow my letter missed her because she came back early. I began to wonder if I’d ever see her again. Each time I went to the U.C. Berkeley campus to hand out literature I looked for Jenny in the crowds of students. I even called her old dorm number, but got no answer.
Finally one day when I called I did get an answer. I found out that Jenny still lived there. I was so excited! Several weeks later I connected with her on the telephone and she was still willing to meet with me. This gave me real naches (joy), but I was a bit nervous about seeing her again. I was eager to continue building a relationship as her peer, but I also wanted to relate to her as a Bible teacher.
As I prepared to meet with Jenny, I prayed about what we would study that week. There was so much that I wanted to tell her. Then in my own daily devotions I happened to be reading in the book of Daniel. When I read the passage in Daniel 7:13 and 14 about the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven and receiving everlasting glory, and the Daniel 12:2 text: “…many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” I knew what I would discuss with Jenny that week! You see, many Jewish people think that those concepts of end times, judgment, heaven and hell are “Gentile ideas.” Yet here was Daniel, a very Jewish prophet, definitely talking about those matters.
I was able to show Jenny those passages and point out to her the New Testament parallels. Then I went on to messianic prophecy in Zechariah. I pushed the Bible over to her and asked her to read chapter 12, verse 10 that says, “…they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
When I asked Jenny whom she thought this meant, she said, “I know it seems like Jesus, and I see how you support your belief, but I really don’t know what to think.”
I’m praying that Jenny will keep searching and that soon she will, indeed, know what to think about Yeshua.