I had a plan…but God had a better one. I was at least the third Jews for Jesus missionary to visit Brad. I really wanted to succeed in helping him enter God’s kingdom. So I had mapped my plan for how Brad could come to saving faith in Jesus.
Brad was reared in a Jewish home and was bar-mitzvah (confirmed) at the age of 13. Yet something was missing in Brad’s life. For years he searched for spiritual truth. That search led him to meet with us to discuss whether Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel.
For six months Brad and I studied various passages from the Word of God as I tried to convince him that Jesus was the Messiah. I expended a lot of energy but no matter what argument I used, Brad always had a reason to discount what I was saying. I was starting to question the time that I invested with Brad.
Well, I had to leave D.C. for three weeks, having ministry responsibilities elsewhere. When I returned home, Brad called me with some exciting news. With absolutely no assistance from me, the Spirit of the Lord had opened Brad’s heart and mind to the gospel truth. While I was gone, Brad prayed to receive Jesus as his Messiah and Lord!
The Apostle Paul, that great rabbi of Tarsus, explained in 1 Corinthians 3:6 that he planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. This passage helps us understand our roles in this drama of life and death. The servant’s job is either to plant or water gospel seeds, and expect the Spirit of God to provide the increase. I knew this passage before I met Brad, but I learned it in a new way by seeing it with my own eyes.
Jesus saves. He saves and He saves. Several of us planted and watered gospel seed in Brad’s life, but he only came to understand the gospel truth when God provided the increase.