Bits from the Branches
Kata Tar reports, “The Talmud (set of Jewish commentaries) has its own list of forbidden literature. Would you believe, readers are told not to study certain parts of—the Hebrew Scriptures! ‘Cursed be the man who calculates the time of the coming of the Messiah,’ is a warning against studying the book of Daniel, particularly chapter nine. Rabbis point out that unbelief could arise from making incorrect calculations. So the very Scripture passage that points most clearly to when the Messiah would come and when he would be ‘cut off’ (killed) is forbidden.
“We wanted to open some eyes, so we painted a banner with the text and reference of Daniel 9:26 in Hebrew, and lifted it up in front of Hendon Central Tube Station. Tamara saw the Hebrew letters, and recognized the word ‘Messiah.’ She approached us with a puzzled expression asking ‘What is this all about? Who are you?’
“‘We are Jews who believe the Messiah has already come and His name is Jesus,’ my colleague Barry explained. Tamara received a Gospel of John and gave her address to receive more information. Please pray for her as we start introducing her to her Messiah!”
Andrew Barron reports, “I met with a Jewish man named Daniel who, at one point, said that it was impossible for him to believe that Jesus could be God. I pointed to a few Scriptures that I suggested might shed some light on this issue, and he replied angrily, ‘If you had only said, “I realize that believing does not seem logical to you, but I believe it is true,” I would have at least respected you for what you are doing. Instead you are using missionary tricks.’
“Though I knew I had not tried to ‘trick’ him, I realize that this is how many people perceive us. Many assume that the gospel is not for Jews and that any argument for belief must be based on deception or twisting Scriptures.
“The Scriptures admonish us to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves (Matthew 10:16). While this refers to believers as doves, I think it means we are to be dove-like in our approach to those who themselves are like doves—easily startled or frightened away. I started to pray that the Lord would show me how I might apply what I was learning.
“The day after I met with Daniel, a Jewish man phoned and asked me why I believed in Jesus. I remembered Daniel’s words and said, ‘I realize that it might not make sense to you—but I believe in the Scriptures, and that Jesus is who He said He was; I believe that He gave His life on the cross for the Jewish people and for the world.’ The man responded positively to the gentle word and the ‘space’ created when I acknowledged that he might disagree.
“We can have all the knowledge about fulfilled prophecies, but if we do not communicate with understanding and love, it is in vain. Sometimes a reproach from those who disagree with us can serve as a helpful reminder.”
Bimini Cohen reports, “I was so happy to receive an email from Tami,* who I met on a sortie in Tel Aviv last month. She has already finished reading the Betrayed book I gave her two weeks ago, and found it very interesting. We’ve already had two visits. She looks forward to discussing this further in person.
“I continue to have a ministry via Skype phone calls to Miri.* The last time we met in person, we went over the Gospel accounts of the Crucifixion, a medical account of crucifixion, and Psalm 22. She looked at me with a serious demeanor and said, ‘The rabbis will be held accountable for keeping this from us.’ During our Skype phone call yesterday, we read about the Resurrection, and she noticed that this seemed to be the first time the disciples actually worshipped Jesus. We also read the Great Commission, and she responded, ‘I am not sure I am ready to tell everyone.’ Would you pray for Tami and Miri to continue drawing closer to Jesus, and receive Him as Lord and Savior of their lives?”
* Not their real names