“Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” —Luke 12:11-12
You might not ever have to answer for your faith before government authorities, but chances are you will be summoned to court for another reason: Jury duty! Some look forward to jury duty while others do all they can to avoid it. But have you ever seen it as opportunity to share the gospel? When Shosh shared the following story, we just had to pass it along to you. We hope you’ll enjoy, and who knows? Maybe it will give you some ideas of how to respond next time you are summoned for jury duty. —editor
My name was pulled from the first round lottery for jury duty. I reported as directed to Jury Room A.
Inside were six attorneys and 31 other potential jurors. I had been assigned as Juror #9. I listened as eight potential jurors were all asked similar questions. Based on their life experience, employment and medical history could they give a “fair” verdict in this particular trial? It was a bodily injury case, which had already gone to trial, and fault had been determined. Now, the new trial would determine whether the plaintiff was entitled to millions of dollars or zero, based on loss of income as well as pain and suffering.
By the time the lead attorney for the plaintiff questioned me, Juror #9, I had a pretty good idea of the questions I’d need to answer. I prayed God would help me use those questions as a platform to say who I was, a Jew for Jesus. And what I believed.
Attorney: Mrs. Weinisch, do you think based on your beliefs you can award millions of dollars to the plaintiff if the evidence proves his injuries are the direct result of the accident?
Attorney: Mrs. Weinisch, do you think based on your beliefs you can award zero, nothing to the plaintiff if the evidence proves his injuries are not the direct result of the accident?
Attorney: I see you work for. . . (He couldn’t say the words Jews for Jesus). . . I see you are a Bible teacher.
Attorney: Do you think you can examine the evidence and make a decision that is not influenced by your religious convictions but just on the evidence? And would you be able to base your decision solely on the evidence and not on pressure from others?
Me: You see who I work for?
Attorney: Yes, well I wasn’t sure. . .
Me: Jews for Jesus. I am Jewish and I believe Jesus is the Messiah my people are waiting for. In order to come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Messiah I have examined the evidence for myself. I had to put aside everything I had heard from my rabbi and my family and make an informed decision—based on the evidence. My job with Jews for Jesus is to encourage other Jewish people to do the same—to think for themselves. To examine the evidence and make an intelligent, informed decision aside from preconceived notions and pressure. My evidence is the Bible. Show me your evidence and I will make my decision based solely on that evidence.
Attorney: Thank you, Mrs. Weinisch.
I was chosen to participate as a juror for this trial.
However, on the second day of the trial, the case settled out of court. But I had accomplished what I had hoped to; I testified to the name of the Lord before the court!
Shoshannah Weinisch is a missionary at our New York branch (also see her in this month’s edition of Bits from the Branches).