In response to the situation in the Middle East, last October Jews for Jesus placed a full page ad in the national edition of the New York Times. The text of this ad was as follows:
Open Letter to Evangelical Christians from Jews for Jesus:
Now is the time to stand with Israel
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our hearts are heavy as we watch the images of violence and bloodshed in the Middle East.
- Once again, this ancient blood feud has grabbed the spotlight of world attention.
- Once again, all the efforts of political and humanitarian leaders to bring about peace have fallen short.
- Once again, the tide of world opinion is turning against the nation of Israel.
Yet, this should come as no surprise to those who know God’s word: I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:2).
The only hope for peace was born in the Middle East. Yeshua the Messiah is the Prince of Peace.
- Only through Him can true and lasting peace come to Jerusalem, indeed to all of the world.
- Only when Palestinians and Jews can say to one another, “I love you in Jesus’ name” will the whole world take note and see the power of the gospel.
This must be our hope as believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- As evangelical Christians, we must obey the admonition of Scripture: “Shaalu shalom Yerushalaim—Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).
- As followers of Jesus, we must demonstrate that loving Israel does not mean hating Arabs.
- “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).
- As God’s people, committed to peace, we call for restraint on both sides of the conflict.
- As lovers of the God of Israel, we must remember His promise concerning the children of Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3).
- As those committed to the word of God, we must remember concerning the Jewish people that “…theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all forever praised!” (Romans 9:4,5)
Christian friends, “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). So must our support for the survival of Israel in this dark hour be irrevocable.
- Now is the time for Christians to stand by Israel.
- Now is the time for Christians to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
- Now is the time for Christians to pray for God’s protection over all the innocents caught up in this conflict.
- Now is the time for Christians to share the love of Messiah Jesus with Jews and Arabs alike.
We have evidence that true peace and reconciliation can take place between Jews and Arabs. [We then offered a copy of Sulha (Arabic for a reconciliation)—a gripping personal story of how an Israeli and an Arab family achieved reconciliation—for those interested.*]
While the ad was addressed to Christians, inevitably many Jewish people who receive the New York Times read it. We expected this. What we did not expect was the phone call we received from a representative of an Israeli newspaper. This paper has a North American edition with a readership of about 100,000 Israelis living in New York, Toronto, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, etc. The paper wanted to know if we’d like to run our ad in their weekend edition. They said they would translate it into Hebrew and offered us a cut-rate price.
Unfortunately, it seems the person offering to publish it was overruled by pressure from community leaders. But meanwhile, a national paper, the Jewish Post and Opinion, actually did publish our entire ad, unedited, without negative commentary! What an amazing opportunity to make the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide!