You Really Are Jewish!
As believers who want to tell others about Yeshua, we should expect the Lord to bring across our paths those whom he has prepared to hear our message. Yet it still amazes me whenever it happens. As a Jews for Jesus missionary, I don’t always see the fruit of my labors. In fact, sometimes it gets downright frustrating, and then the totally unexpected occurs. Out of the clear blue, the Lord sends someone my way who is really searching for the truth. One such person is Rae.
One day as I was leaving a local nursing home after visiting one of my regular contacts, a voice called out, Excuse me, sir, but are you a priest?” As I turned to respond, I saw an elderly, rotund woman with a jovial face.
Having no idea that she was Jewish, I introduced myself and explained that I was a minister. Rae’s face looked inquisitive as she asked, “Are you Jewish? Your name certainly sounds Jewish.” I explained that I was, but that I believed that Yeshua (Jesus) was the Messiah. It surprised me when Rae said, “Oh! That sounds very interesting. Can you tell me more?” The Lord had opened the perfect opportunity for me to share the Gospel with Rae as I learned that she also was Jewish.
Rae and I had an instant rapport. I told her my story, and we also talked about her life. She had endured a great deal of trouble, her life being characterized by extreme suffering and loss.
Several years before, while Rae and her husband were preparing to leave on a vacation, they were both brutally attacked and robbed. Rae lost her husband due to that attack, and she was left an invalid, with very little use of her legs. Forty-two years earlier in her life, as a young wife and mother, Rae had suffered a loss of equal magnitude. Her four-year-old son had been kidnapped while he was riding his bicycle right in front of their home. She had never heard a word about him since then. She had been carrying this pain for many years and it had made her very bitter. She talked constantly of wanting to die and join her husband and child.
As I continued to visit Rae, it was incredible to see how the Lord was directing all of our conversations. He continued to open every door for me to share more and more of the Gospel with Rae. We talked in detail about death and being ready to face God. Rae constantly surprised me at every turn. I didn’t expect her to believe in sin, judgment and hell, since most Jewish people these days do not. Because Rae did believe, it was so much easier to explain to her about sin, salvation and our need for Yeshua’s blood atonement for us. Another surprising thing to me was how much Rae already knew about Yeshua. Nevertheless, she was not yet convinced that he was God and our Messiah.
I decided that it would be a good idea for Rae and me to read the Jews for Jesus Yeshua book together. As the weeks passed, Rae became more and more open to Yeshua as we went through some of the major messianic prophecies in the book.
Then one day, as I was traveling to visit Rae, I felt that this was the right time to ask her to receive Yeshua. I prayed that the Lord would give me the “go ahead” at the right time in our visit.
It was May 11, 1987. That day we studied the section of the Yeshua book dealing with the prophecy of the Messiah’s coming in Daniel Chapter 9. Rae was amazed to learn that the Messiah was to come before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and more importantly, that he was to die. This opened the opportunity for me to read other Scriptures to her, such as Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.
When I felt that the time was right, I asked. Rae if she understood what we had just discussed and to repeat back to me what she believed. It was such a blessing to hear Rae reiterate the Gospel message to me. I knew the time was right. I asked her if she wanted to have God’s forgiveness and the promise of eternal life in heaven.
Rae’s immediate response was, “Yes, I want God’s forgiveness, and I believe that Jesus died for me, but I’m so bad. How can God forgive me?”
“Because he loves you,” I said, “He wants to give you his most precious gift of salvation, but you must take the gift from him.” My heart was so full of joy as we prayed together for her salvation.
Since then I have been discipling Rae, and it’s a blessing to see her face light up as we discuss the Scriptures. Just the other day we were talking about prayer. I explained that it gives God nachas (great joy) when we want to spend time with him.
In response to my use of the Jewish word “nachas” Rae said, “You really are Jewish!” “Yes,” I responded, “and so was Jesus, and you still are Jewish too.” She is beginning to see that Jewishness and Jesus do go together. Praise God! This realization is so difficult for my Jewish brethren, and it is only the Holy Spirit who can remove the scales from their eyes to see this.
Rae’s story reminds me of the Scripture account of Yeshua healing a blind man. When Yeshua touched him the first time, he saw people only as though they were trees walking. Then when Yeshua touched him the second time, he regained his full sight. Sometimes it takes a while for God to remove the spiritual scales from our eyes, but when the work of the Holy Spirit is complete, there is such joy in the heart of the person who finally sees Yeshua for who he is.
Please pray with me for the Jewish people that the Holy Spirit will remove the blindness from many eyes, and also for Rae as she grows in her new faith. Please also pray for Rae’s health. Her heart is not so strong, and she has recurring bouts with pneumonia. Due to her disability, it is not easy to involve her in a church where she can enjoy fellowship with other believers.