Be Wise as Serpents, Yet Gentle as Doves
It had been three years since I’d taken part in one of our New York City Summer Witnessing Campaigns, and there seemed to be more opposition than I recalled from previous summers.
For example, I was handing out tracts at the 14th Street/Union Square subway station when a man named David showed up wearing a yellow T-shirt. His bright shirt and logo identified him with a particular anti-missionary organization and as was his practice, he began to counter-leaflet” us. Basically, he was trying to hand out his pamphlets to people who were taking ours—particularly those he thought might be Jewish. Certainly, people have every right to hand out whatever literature they please, and sometimes opposition actually piques people’s interest in what we are doing. I had to admire our opponent, who was trying his best to keep up with my colleague, Natalie, and me.
While I was handing out broadsides, a Christian named Leon introduced himself to me. He was familiar with Jews for Jesus and had some encouraging words. He even offered to help hand out some tracts since he was early for work. I thanked him and then asked if he might like to help in another way. I pointed out our yellow-shirted friend and explained that he didn’t think Jews should believe in Jesus. I asked Leon (who is not Jewish) if perhaps he would want to share the gospel with this man. Leon was delighted at my suggestion and for the next 30 minutes, he explained from the Jewish Scriptures why Jesus is the Messiah.
Our opponent wasn’t able to distribute his pamphlets and after about 20 minutes, he came over to me and said, “Leon is really good. He knows the Scriptures very well.” He walked away again with Leon following close behind. Finally, David decided to leave and Leon came over to me. I thanked him and mentioned that our Campaign would be continuing for the rest of July. I asked if Leon would be willing to let others from his church know about “needy” people like David so they could share the gospel as they ran into them and he said he’d be happy to do so.
I praise the Lord for people like Leon. Perhaps, you would like to help in some way. If you happen to be in a city where we have an outreach, keep an eye out for us. Maybe you can minister to our opposition like Leon did!
Rob Wertheim is a senior missionary serving with the San Francisco branch of Jews for Jesus. He has been on staff since 1988 and has participated in and led several outreaches during that time. Rob’s father and mother are Holocaust survivors, originally from Germany and are also believers in Jesus. His wife, Sandy, is a Jewish believer as well. However, she is the only one in her family that knows the Lord. Rob and Sandy have three grown children, Saul, Rose and Josh.