QUESTION: I have a very good friend who is Jewish. We have been friends for a long time. He treats Christians as good people, but just that. How can I approach him about the gospel?
ANSWER: Your friend may merely be using tact to avoid the issue of Christ. He maybe thinking—but not saying—that he considers Christians generally well meaning, moral and honorable, but misguided in their belief in a personal God or anyone’s need for a savior from sin. If that is the case, you need to begin at a different level—discussion about the reality of God in your life, the validity of the Hebrew Scriptures, or what the Jewish patriarchs believed and practiced.
On the other hand, your friend may be sincere in his statement that Christians are good people” in that he really sees a difference in their lives. In that case, you need to explain that Christians are not “good” because of their faith per se, but because of the way Christ empowers them to live when they commit their lives to him.
Your friend may think that through the high principles and morality of Judaism he can equal the “good lives” of devout Christians without believing in Christ. The problem he must face is that no person can be “good enough” to live up to what God requires. It takes the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers to make us “good” at all, and even at that, as the prophet Isaiah said, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
As Yeshua himself said, no one is good except God (Matthew 19:17). Tell your friend he must not look to Christians for their goodness or their lack of it, but to Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel who alone can make us “good,” because when we commit our lives to him, God adjudicates his righteousness to us.