A Not-So-Exciting Account of an Exciting Event
I wish that this were a more exciting story. I mean, I think it’s exciting, but I don’t know if you will. You see, about four hours before writing this, I prayed with a Jewish woman named Sara to receive Yeshua. What could be more exciting than that? I live to see my people come to faith in our Messiah, and when one does and God uses me in the process, it gives me more nachas (Yiddish word for joy”) than I can express. Jesus himself said that there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10). I guess there’s not much more that excites the Lord than seeing one of his children receive his love and forgiveness.
Still, I’m tempted to try to make Sara’s salvation story more exciting in order to interest the reader of this article. Instead, I think I’ll just tell what God did and let the events speak for themselves.
Sara was born in Cuba but came to the United States when she was two years old. She was not raised with much religious education. Ultimately, she found herself in the position of wife, mother and owner of a couple of medical corporations. She and her family live in a more-than-comfortable home and have no desperate family problems, so this is not an exciting story of a down-and-out individual whom God brought up out of despair.
I met Sara through Maggie, a friend and co-worker. Maggie attended a presentation of “Christ in the Passover” which I gave in her church several months ago. After the presentation, Maggie told me about Sara and that she felt Sara was very open to the idea that Jesus might be the Jewish Messiah. I met with Sara and Maggie one evening and shared some of my experiences with Sara. I showed her the basics about the Bible—how it is arranged and divided. I gave her a copy of the Yeshua book, which elaborates on the messianic prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures, and I recommended that she begin reading the book of Matthew.
About a month later we got together again. Sara had read the whole Yeshua book and half of Matthew. She said that not only did she see nothing objectionable about believing in Jesus, but she thought he probably was who he said he was. We prayed that God would show her once and for all if it was true and what she should do about it.
Today, about two weeks later, we met again. Sara had finished reading Matthew. She proceeded to tell me all the things she liked about it, practically quoting chapter and verse and correctly applying fundamental principles of Jesus’ teaching to her own life. So, right there in the middle of the unexciting confines of an International House of Pancakes, Sara prayed with me to receive the Lord. That’s how it happened. There are three exciting things about what happened today that may not be apparent from my retelling of the story.
In John, chapter 4, Jesus says: “…Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal, that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And here is that saying true, One soweth and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that on which ye bestowed no labor, other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, who testified, He told me all that ever I did.” (Verses 35-39).
The first truth that excites me is the reminder that the fields really are “white already to harvest.” There are Jewish people who are responding to the gospel with open hearts. They are there. We just need to find them and stay true to God’s word.
The second truth that excites me is that I really did reap where I had not labored. It was Maggie who had been sharing her faith and her life with Sara and praying faithfully every day. God used both of us in different ways to share his heart with Sara. Jews and Gentiles are working together in God’s vineyard, sowing, reaping and doing whatever can be done to reach the lost with the good news of Messiah. It’s happening.
In John, chapter 4, the woman who met Jesus went and told others about him, and they went and found out for themselves that “this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4:42). What excites me the most is that Christians are telling their Jewish friends about the Lord, and in some cases, their Jewish friends, neighbors and co-workers are finding out for themselves that Jesus really is the Messiah.
Like Sara’s, my confrontation with the gospel also came through a co-worker who shared his faith with me on the job. He was courageous enough to risk his reputation and possible rejection to tell me about what God was doing in his life. Granted, at first I thought his message was “not for me,” but through persistent sowing and watering and living a godly life, he began to persuade me that the peace he had was real and available to me, too.
God used Larry in my life. He used Maggie in Sara’s life. I pray that you who read this will “lift up your eyes” where you’re living and working, “and look on the fields,” and see that they are “white already to harvest.” Is there someone in your life who needs to hear about the life that God has given you? Let’s work together, Jews and Gentiles in the body of Messiah, to bring people to the One who is “indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”