Just Another Typical Day
It was just another typical day. I had arrived at the Jews for Jesus office in Manhattan early, intending to do some administrative work before beginning my day’s visits with Jewish people. Before I could start, the telephone rang. I looked at it quizzically, feeling that I ought to answer it. Immediately I reached over and turned off the automatic answering machine. I NEVER do that before normal business” hours, but somehow I sensed that this call was important.
The man at the other end of the line was Bob. He was calling early, before work began at his office in Brooklyn. Bob had just finished reading a book by a messianic Jew about his own personal life and the fulfillment he had found in Yeshua. Bob was amazed. Could God love him? Could God forgive his many sins?
Ordinarily with any call-in contact, I would set up an appointment to meet the inquirer, usually near the person’s home or job location. However, as I looked at my calendar to find a suitable time to meet Bob, I realized that I was already “booked” for the next 11 evenings. Somehow, though, it seemed important to me that I meet with him right away. I took down his telephone number and said I would call him back immediately. Then I made some calls to rearrange some previous commitments. Sure enough, it was God’s timing, because it was very easy to rearrange my schedule. I felt that the Lord wanted something special for Bob.
I called Bob back, and he was available to meet with me that evening. We sat and talked in a diner near the office. We spoke of God’s good love and the forgiveness of sins that Yeshua offers. It was snowing that night in New York—some kind of special sign to Bob, who had had a mystical experience regarding snow earlier that week. We read from the Bible. “…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). That passage from the Word of the Lord seemed to have a clear effect on Bob. His inquiries were met in Jesus. Yes, God loved him, no matter what. Yes, God could forgive his many sins. He knew it.
We prayed together for Jesus to forgive Bob’s sins and for his prayer for new birth to have its intended effect. Bob has since joined our New York City congregation and is growing daily as he reads the Bible and has fellowship with other believers.
It was just another typical day—a day to answer phones, a day to meet with Jewish people and to do routine paper work. But in what we call typical situations, God draws people to himself. What is normal for us is so atypical for the world—God’s good love to all. And for Bob it was a special day.
Bob Mendelsohn is the leader of Jews for Jesus' work in Sydney, Australia. He grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Kansas City, but became a college drop-out when he decided to look for the meaning of life in the counterculture of the '60s. He found meaning and relevance in Jesus which caused him much trouble at home. But he says, "it was worth the cost." Bob has worked for Jews for Jesus since 1979, and served as the leader of our work in Washington DC and New York City before moving to Sydney in 1998. Bob and his wife Patty both graduated from the University of Kansas and Fuller Seminary. The Mendelsohns live in Sydney near their son. Their two daughters and two grandsons live in the US. Their son has a son and is expecting another in 2019.