Why Robyn did not want to believe in Jesus.
My Mother KNOWS I’m Doing This.
My mother and father are both Jewish, both from the East Coast, and both had aspirations for me, their daughter, which I am sure did not include handing out pamphlets about Yeshua (Jesus).
For that matter, handing out pamphlets about Yeshua wasn’t exactly my life-long goal. In fact, if someone would have told me that I would be a Jewish believer in Jesus, I probably would have died laughing. You see, for me, being Jewish meant not believing in Jesus.
As a kid, I went to synagogue and Sunday School. I learned to read and write Hebrew. We celebrated the Jewish Holidays. Most of my friends were Jewish. When our rabbi told us that Jewish people don’t believe in Jesus, I accepted it without question.
In high school, I felt happiest and most at peace when I played my flute. I decided that my life would be complete if I could become the world’s greatest flute player! I studied at Wichita State University because the flute instructor there was excellent. As I got to know her, I noticed that she seemed to have “something” that I didn’t, apart from her musical ability. I knew she was a Christian, but I wasn’t ready to connect that “something special” to her beliefs.
About this time, a girl in my dorm named Janice told me that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and that I needed to believe in him. I told her a few things that were far less civil. As I left her room that evening, she said, “I’m praying for you and I am having people in my Bible study pray for you.” “Please don’t pray for me,” I snapped back. “I can pray for you if I want—it’s a free country,” she replied.
Well, I thought I better say my own prayer, so that night I asked God to show me the truth… and hinted that I sure hoped it would not be Jesus.
I began to question why we, as Jewish people, didn’t believe in Jesus.
The next thing I knew, I had to write a term paper for my English class, which actually had me reading the Bible for research. After my research, I was curious, and started to read the New Testament. I was amazed at just how Jewish the writers sounded. And I began to question why we, as Jewish people, didn’t believe in Jesus.
A speaker named Josh McDowell was coming to speak at the campus. A former atheist, his goal in life had been to disprove Christianity, and in the process, he became a Christian. I decided to go hear him. As he presented the evidence for his beliefs, I found myself believing that the gospel could be true.
A few nights later, I bombarded Janice with questions about Jesus and God. As I heard her answers, I realized that the gospel was true. Yet it was a struggle for me to even say the name of Jesus—I’d known it only as a swear word. After another few hours of conversation with Janice, I prayed to receive Jesus as my Messiah.
I tried to sleep, but couldn’t! I felt a warm sensation like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Finally, I fell asleep. I awoke about three hours later. I sat at the edge of my bed. I felt different. There was love, peace and joy that had not been there the day before. It was even better than playing the flute!
That morning, I walked on campus and actually felt like hugging people as they walked by! Clearly, I was not myself. I walked into my flute professor’s studio and had my lesson. She remarked that there was something different about me. I told her what had happened the night before, and realized that I now had that “something special” I had noticed about her. But would anyone notice it about me?
Three weeks later, my dad came to pick me up from college and bring me home for the summer. I was so excited about my new faith that I probably didn’t have much tact as I announced that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. Our three-hour ride back to Kansas City was a quiet one. When we got home, I told my mother. She was saddened as well. The rest of the summer was filled with tension.
During Christmas vacation, we visited my grandparents in Florida. While swimming at the beach, I was stung by a man-of-war. Because of complications with allergies and asthma, that sting nearly took my life. My parents decided they (in my father’s words), “would rather have me alive as a Christian than dead as a Jew.”
What my parents had a hard time understanding, or admitting at the time, was that I never stopped being Jewish. After all, if Yeshua is the Jewish messiah, what could be more Jewish than to believe in him?
We have had our ups and downs since then, but today my parents and I enjoy a great, loving relationship. They had aspirations for me—I could have been a doctor, a lawyer… who knows, maybe a world famous flute player. But the thing is, God also had aspirations for me. He wanted me to know him; to know the joy and peace that only a relationship with him can bring. And that relationship comes through knowing the Messiah, Yeshua.
So yeah, Mom and Dad know I’m out here handing out these pamphlets, and that I’m hoping someone like you will be interested enough in Jesus to ask me more. It’s not their favorite thing that I do (did I mention I play flute? 🙂 ) But they like the person I’ve become as a result of knowing Yeshua and they can’t deny that I’m still Jewish.
Have you been wondering lately if your aspirations for yourself, or maybe other people’s aspirations for you, are not really enough? God’s aspiration for you is to know His Messiah Yeshua, so that you can have a reconciled relationship with God and enjoy him forever.
If you aspire to know God, you’ll have to accept the relationship on his terms, whatever they may be. Whether you are Jewish or not, why not ask God to show you the truth about Jesus?
Robyn Wilk is missionary with our South Florida branch. Robyn is a gifted flute player and loves to use her flute to serve God. Before coming to South Florida, she served on the Liberated Wailing Wall music team, both as a musician and music director, led the San Francisco Branch and the missionary training program in New York. She received her theological training at Fuller and Western Seminaries. Robyn loves speaking with Jewish people about Jesus and would love to speak with you or anyone you know who might be interested in hearing more about having a relationship with God through the Messiah.