From New Age to New Birth
I’m glad I answered the phone that day! A Christian was calling the Jews for Jesus South Africa office to give one of our missionaries the name of her Jewish friend. This Christian woman had lent a Jesus for Jews book to Susan, who was spiritually hungry. Susan wanted to meet someone who was Jewish and a believer in Jesus.
I phoned Susan and left a message on her machine. When I arrived at the office the next day, there was a message on our machine from her: Please come and visit me–tonight if possible.” It’s not every day that we get such calls from Jewish inquirers, so I met with Susan that evening.
Right away we began to talk about spiritual issues. Susan had been deeply impressed by the Jesus for Jews book (she remembered my husband Andrew’s story). She said she identified most with the Jewish woman who had been through much Eastern thought. Susan herself had dabbled in the New Age movement, but had never found real peace.
Susan came from an Orthodox Jewish background and believed that the Scriptures were true. After she read the Jesus for Jews book she had started reading the New Testament. I asked her who she thought Jesus was, and she replied simply, “The Son of God.” I asked her if she thought he had the power to forgive sins and could really be the promised Messiah of the Tenach (the Old Testament). Susan hesitated and said, “Yes, but it would be a difficult thing to follow Jesus–a big commitment.”
I agreed whole-heartedly with her and explained that some of the most meaningful and rewarding things in life–like marriage–require the biggest sacrifices and commitments. She said she understood that, and then there was a pause in our conversation. I asked her to bring her Bible and sit next to me. We began to go through some of the messianic passages from Scripture together and she kept saying, “It makes sense; it makes sense.”
Susan wanted to give her life to Jesus but she was finding it difficult. She knew it would change her life. I asked her if she wanted to pray with me and she just nodded and began weeping. As she asked Jesus to forgive her and help her follow him she sighed, relieved that she had finally made a decision. It was not the New Age that had given Susan real peace, but the new birth–a spiritual cleansing from the Author of Life himself.
When I phoned the Christian lady to tell her about Susan she already knew! Susan had already told her. Although the woman was thanking me for seeing Susan, I was thanking her for putting me in touch with Susan in the first place. We meet many Jewish people who have been touched by the gospel through Christians like that lady. I am thankful for our friends and supporters who actively reach out with us to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Laura Barron is a missionary at the Toronto branch of Jews for Jesus. Along with her husband Andrew, who heads up the Jews for Jesus work in Canada, Laura pioneered the South African ministry of Jews for Jesus. She is a fluent Hebrew speaker and regularly takes part in the organization’s outreach ministry in Israel. Laura and Andrew have three children: Rafael, Ketzia and Simona.