High visibility is an integral part of our Jews or Jesus ministry. Through T-shirts or jackets that say "Jews for Jesus," and matching logos on our vehicles, we raise a banner to proclaim that a person can be Jewish and believe in Jesus.
Several months ago a believer noticed our van as it was stopped at a traffic light in downtown Chicago . The woman spoke to us about her Jewish friend Melody. She had been discussing Jesus with Melody, who seemed close to believing that he is the Messiah.
I followed up on the information she gave me and contacted Melody. I conversed with Melody several times on the telephone, and she seemed sincerely open and searching for God’s truth. Approximately two weeks after we had established a telephone relationship, I was able to travel to where she lived and meet with her in person.
I found Melody to be an attractive thirty-ish woman who ran a word-processing service from her home. For a few years she had been participating in a twelve-step program through which she had begun to sense God’s reality. She had also found herself surrounded by a "cloud of witnesses." Her therapist was a Christian, as were several of her closest friends. For the last few months she had been attending church services, usually twice a week.
During our visit Melody forthrightly admitted that she knew God was drawing her to him and that Jesus truly was who he claimed to be. Yet when I asked her if she had personally received him as her Messiah, she became somewhat evasive. She confessed that she had trouble saying "Jesus." The name sounded "foreign" to her and it did not feel right to her as a Jewish person to say it. I told her that God had helped me through similar feelings.
Still Melody was not ready to receive Yeshua. "I think I’ve already surrendered to him anyway," she hedged, then added, "I don’t know–I think I have, yet I feel as if I haven’t completely surrendered."
When I began to talk about the need for atonement before a holy God, she interjected, "Well, maybe that’s it. See, I don’t believe we are sinners. I rather think of us as having ‘character defects.’ Maybe that’s why I can’t completely accept him yet."
It was apparent to me that, for whatever reasons, Melody was not yet ready. God was still working on her heart. I spoke frequently with her by telephone, and she made plans to come to one of our worship services. We both agreed that attending this service was very important for her because she had not yet worshiped with Jewish believers in Yeshua.
The night of the service I saw Melody before the worship began. She beamed as she exclaimed, "I don’t believe it! All these Jewish people, and they believe in Jesus, too!!" I sat next to her during our worship time, and saw her listening ecstatically to the messianic music.
At the close of the service, the preacher gave an invitation to receive Yeshua: "If anyone here believes Yeshua to be the Messiah, knows that he died for them, and wants now to receive him as their Lord, just look up so l can see your face," he said. Melody looked up.
Now I am conducting a discipleship program with Melody by telephone, and when she is able she drives to our area to attend the Jews for Jesus Bible study. She no longer calls the sin that separated her from God a "character defect," and she no longer wonders if she has surrendered completely to the Messiah!