Some of the success of Jews for Jesus in the early days was because of our willingness to take risks. Most were single, a few were married but with no children. None had much by way of personal possessions, at least nothing worth stealing. Because we were determined to witness openly and raise the issue of the Messiahship of Jesus, we never expected acceptance. We knew that our fellow Jews couldn’t allow themselves to tolerate us, so we were outcasts for our faith. We sought to make Jesus an unavoidable issue. Some of our fellow Jewish people tried to dissuade us by calling us all kinds of names, but nevertheless God called us to witness for Him.
Despite all of the rejection and misunderstanding we were not easily discouraged. Nor were we lonely. God gave us each other and we had our own little Jews for Jesus Community. Besides, we didn’t take ourselves seriously and had a great sense of fun. By constantly reminding ourselves of who we represented and by keeping our minds on Jesus, our Divine Mentor, we moved forward.
Gradually there were children to raise, homes to buy, mortgages with which we had to wrestle. Some began feeling their maturity with the onset of ordinary aches and pains. All of this could have slowed us down, but it didn’t.
Through the momentum we had as a community of witnessing people, we moved ahead, we helped with one another’s children so that parents could still go out witnessing. We managed to see each other often and the children treated each other like cousins, because they were always delighted to meet others who were like themselves—people who understood how one could be very Jewish and very Christian at the same time.
If we continue to be successful it will be because we continue to reject the conventional values of the world. In order to do that we need a continuing sense of our” community. We need to remember that we are essentially a counterculture. We are Jews but we’re dissenting from our fellow Jews with regard to Jesus. We can’t allow ourselves to crave the acceptance of those who don’t accept Him. We can’t allow ourselves to fit in.
To succeed in living for the Lord, I think that one must set aside worldly ambition. So far as the world is concerned, we are citizens of heaven and aliens here. We are ambassadors who need to remember that if we do our duty, we will undermine the ungodly foundations of society.
Is it wrong to provide nice homes and comfort for our families? I don’t think so. I have always done my best to provide well for my family, and while I was executive director, for our missionaries and their families. The important thing is to keep it all in perspective.
Queen Esther hadn’t much to lose before she married the king. She had everything to lose—riches, status, even her life, once she was elevated to queen. Yet she was willing to lose all, rather than to lose the opportunity to do the right thing. Pray for our missionary community, that we, like Queen Esther, will not count the loss of anything this world can offer as worthy to compare with the spiritual gain of obedience to our Lord.