Sal is Jewish. Originally from Brooklyn, he now lives in suburban New Jersey. He is married to an Italian woman who converted to Judaism prior to their wedding. They have two small children. Sal has a responsible job with a large New York City bank, and from all outward appearances is successful. He is certainly the kind of person many would admire, yet there is far more to him than outward appearance.
Sal first encountered Jews for Jesus through the efforts of one of our summer campaigners. It was clear at that time that he was sincerely searching for God. In the initial phone call during our campaign follow-up, it was evident that Sal had a genuine love for God and a desire to know him better. Salwas also intrigued byJesus, but not yet ready to accept him as Savior and Lord.
I met with Sal a number of times, and we discussed the Scriptures that point to the messiahship of Jesus. We also addressed many of his questions about the Old and New Testaments. Sal had been influenced by a group that follows the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong. He was particularly opposed to the idea of the Trinity. This is usually a difficult doctrine for Jewish people to accept, because of the teaching in the synagogue regarding the unity of God. Nevertheless, Sal was open, and more than anything he wanted to know that God wanted him to believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah.
One day I met Sal as he was on his way to work in lower Manhattan. I was distributing gospel tracts in the tunnel that leads from the Port Authority bus terminal to the downtown trains. Sal was glad to see me, and we stopped to talk for a moment.
I noticed that something had changed, and I asked Sal what had happened. He reminded me that at our last meeting he had said he wanted God to show him a sign that would help him believe in Jesus. We had prayed that God would graciously do that. And he had!
Sal recounted how a few days earlier he had been walking in midtown Manhattan, asking God to show him whether or not Jesus was God. As he turned the corner, he found himself standing in front of a subway stop with a large cardboard sign posted along the rail. The sign read JESUS IS GOD. Sal was shocked. He had never had his prayers answered in such a dramatic manner.
God not only had provided the answer to Sal’s specific question—but that sign” was really a sign!
Sal admitted that he had some doubts about the reality of the experience. He was still not totally conv;nced that Jesus was God, but he wanted to be convinced. Right then and there, in the “bowels” of Manhattan, Sal prayed to receive Jesus as his Messiah and Sin-bearer and asked God to assure his heart concerning the deity of Christ.
There is no question in my mind that God answered Sal very specifically that day, and that Sal’s attitude toward the deity of Christ has changed from one of opposition to one of wanting to know. I would ask prayer for Sal, as only God knows whether or not his decision was genuine. Our Jews for Jesus office has sent Sal some further material to study about the deity of Christ. Hopefully his doubts will be answered and he will grow in faith.