The ‘Christians’ wrote the New Testament around the Old Testament’s prophecies!” my eighth grade teacher announced. I was speechless. I had never heard such a response to the prophecies of the Messiah and their fulfillment!
I felt that the Lord had been putting it on my heart to witness to my class from the beginning of the year. With the school year drawing to an end, when my teacher assigned us an oral report due in a week, I knew it was time. I asked if I could do a presentation about the Messiah and she was glad to let me do it. It might seem like an unusual topic for an eighth grade class, but I live in Israel, so it made sense to my teacher that I would want to talk about the Messiah.
With a week to prepare, I chose a number of prophecies regarding the Messiah and matched them with their fulfillment from the New Testament. I had read through the verses many times and had researched the different prophecies. I understood them well enough by the next week to present them to my class. So, after retyping all the prophecies on my computer and copying them and praying for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance, I was as prepared as I could ever be.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve witnessed to my friends. I’d shared the Good News with them on different occasions and found that even when they knew I believed, we remained friends. Still, standing before the entire class and my teacher was not easy!
I separated my presentation into two parts: First I would talk about the prophecies from the Old Testament then I would talk about the New Testament and Yeshua. I knew the moment I mentioned Yeshua or the New Testament everybody would begin arguing.
I opened my presentation with Daniel 9:26, which predicted that after sixty-two weeks an anointed one would be cut down when he does not possess the city. The passage also predicts the destruction of the Temple.
I continued talking about the Messiah coming from David’s family and his home town, Bethlehem. Next I spoke from Isaiah 35:5-6, about the Messiah doing miracles: ” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared.…”
In the second half of the presentation, I explained that if you were to count the “sixty-two weeks” mentioned in Daniel 9, it would turn out around the time Yeshua was crucified and the Temple was destroyed soon after.
I handed out the sheets of paper I had reprinted from a book on messianic prophecy and was immediately asked where they were taken from. I answered, “From a book I’ve got.” “Was the book written by a Christian?” I was asked. People automatically assume that anything Christians say is not for Jews. This is one of many things that Israelis learn at a young age.
For example, nobody knows Jesus as Yeshua, but rather they learn that his name is “Yayshu,” which is actually a curse. Even in the encyclopedias and school books, His proper name is not used. The sad part is it’s not because they wanted to use a curse—they really thought that was His real name!
Anyway, once I started talking about Yeshua, everybody remembered everything we learned last year about Christianity. We were taught that even though Yeshua wasn’t a Christian anybody who believes in Him is. We also learned that the “Christians” were the ones persecuting the Jews.
So, that’s where it all starts. Schools are influenced by the Orthodox and the tradition that says that Yeshua was a false prophet. Every Israeli is misled about Yeshua from a mistaken view of history. They can’t understand that Yeshua, who came from the house of David, learned the Torah and upheld the Jewish laws, is truly the Messiah—and that believing in Him is the most Jewish thing any Jew can do. They believe that the Yehudim Meshihim (Messianic Jews) aren’t really Jews but Christians who pretend to be Jews.
After answering some questions about Yeshua, I continued and explained about the fulfillment of the prophecies. My teacher’s remark that Christians purposely wrote the New Testament based on the Old amazed me. I guess that was her way of dealing with the fact that Yeshua really does fit the picture painted in the Old Testament.
It seemed like nobody was really interested in what I had to say; they argued but did not seem ready to really think things through. I did give one of my friends a New Testament.
I try every now and then to talk to my friends about Yeshua. Those who have spent a lot of time in a synagogue argue like most religious Jews. Others seem confused and not sure what to believe. Most of Israel is searching for something. They need to hear about Yeshua because if they do, they will then understand that He is the only truth and our Messiah. I keep telling them about Him because there might come a day when they will remember and believe.
Since he was a little boy, Daniel talked about becoming a missionary like his parents, Efraim and Jeannie. Whatever vocation is in store for Daniel, we pray God will continue to bless him with such wonderful boldness for the gospel.