Saved from What?
Here is a glimpse of a typical conversation one of our missionaries had while witnessing to a Jewish woman. We hope these glimpses help you understand some of the roadblocks to faith and how they can be overcome.
I think that I believe in Jesus, but I am Jewish. Can you help?”
That is the question we most love to hear, so I was excited to learn that a woman named Avarie had called our Los Angeles office with that very request…and I would be the one to return her call.
I set up an appointment to meet Avarie at a Starbuck’s coffee shop near her home. After some small talk, she began asking questions.
“There is one thing that I don’t understand,” Avarie stated quite emphatically. “How can people say that without Jesus, I don’t have a relationship with God? I have felt His presence since I can remember. As I read the New Testament I can see that Jesus is great, but why do I need to believe in Him?”
I asked what she knew about sin or its effects, and like many Jewish people, she had not really thought about it. I explained to Avarie that the Jewish Scriptures point out our sin and show us that it separates us from God. The Torah teaches that each individual, not only our people as a whole, had to come to God for His mercy for forgiveness. Sensing God’s reality is not the same as having a relationship with Him. I told Avarie that we could never secure a relationship with God based on our own merits, but that He promised to forgive us if we have faith in His provision (the sacrificial system). We then talked about how Jesus came to stand in our place and take the penalty of our sin as a once-and-for-all sacrifice.
“Ah, so that is why people keep telling me I need to be saved! Saved from the separation!” Avarie concluded. Within a few minutes, Avarie allowed me to lead her in a prayer of repentance. She was trusting in the mercy of God and asking for a forever relationship with Him through Jesus.
The funny thing was, by the end of our visit, my coffee was cold and I had forgotten all about it!
Josh Sofaer is the leader of the Los Angeles branch of Jews for Jesus. He is one of four boys, but no one else in his immediate family have come to faith yet. Josh previously led the organization’s New York branch and pioneered their children’s program on the East Coast. He received his theological training at Western Seminary. He and his wife, Annette, have two children, Eliana and Taliah.