Editor’s note: We were delighted to be able to reprint John Piper’s article in lieu of David’s usual lead. However, I was feeling nostalgic and decided to include this article that David wrote some twenty years ago when he was on a summer witnessing campaign.
Why don’t you just leave the Jewish people alone? Leave us alone—go away!”
Here in New York City, during the Jews for Jesus summer campaign, I am often confronted with such statements spewed from the lips of angry passers-by. I must confess that although I have been hearing such rebukes for several years, and despite the fact that this is my third Jews for Jesus campaign, I sometimes stop to consider the implications of heeding such words.
When I have the occasion to speak in churches and share about the work of Jews for Jesus, I sometimes meet brothers and sisters in Christ who seem to have heeded this angry “advice.” They are those Christians who have refrained from sharing the gospel with their Jewish friends. What a joy it is for me when the Lord speaks to these Christians (sometimes through meeting a Jewish believer in Jesus like me) and they are moved to go share their faith in the love of Messiah Jesus.
And yet I understand why they once refrained from sharing their faith. I know what it’s like to contend with the fear of rejection—especially while standing on the streets of New York. How much easier it would be for me to go back to my home in Chicago and forget about the millions of people here in New York City.
When these feelings come, I often pray, “Lord Jesus, help me to proclaim faithfully Your word, even to those who are unwilling to hear. Give me boldness to raise Your banner high.”
It is exciting to know that the worth of our efforts is not determined by those who may refuse our message, but by God, who says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'” (Isaiah 52:7).
It is also encouraging to know that we can leave the results with God, because He said, “…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts”