The Bible not only warns against the dangers and consequences of malicious speech, it extols the virtue of a good word: “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, But the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Proverbs 12:18). At times, it takes courage to say the words that God would have us speak. Queen Esther is not admired as much for the beauty that brought her to court as she is for her boldness in speaking out to save her people. Likewise, each of us finds ourselves in situations where God wants us to speak up boldly for the salvation of His people. Julia Pascoe, one of our London missionaries, recounts one such story …
I have been reminded that we need to be always ready to speak of the hope that we have, even in the most unusual and unlikely situations. Recently Vera, one of our faithful supporters, contacted me about witnessing to her Jewish doctor, Dr. Jacobs.
Vera had come to Dr. Jacobs following severe chest pains. He examined Vera and, suspecting she had a collapsed lung, advised that she immediately go to her local accident and emergency unit. But before Vera left the surgery, she felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to share with Dr. Jacobs her faith in the Jewish Messiah, completely forgetting the urgency of her own situation in her concern for his spiritual well being.
Dr. Jacobs (a secular Jewish man) listened as Vera explained her beliefs, mentioned that she knew of Jewish people who believed in Jesus as she did, told him about Jews for Jesus and recommended a particular book we have called Jewish Doctors Meet The Great Physician by Ruth Rosen. He agreed that she could return with a copy of the book, and then reminded Vera of her need to get to the hospital!
Praise God, Vera’s tests came back clear, showing that the chest pains were nothing to be worried about. Vera is convinced that the whole episode was simply an opportunity to witness to her doctor. She and I prayed about going back to see Dr. Jacobs, and a week later we met with him and had a very interesting conversation. He said, “I know you believe in Jesus, but this is not for me,” so I asked him if he knew why we believed what we believed and the basis for our faith. He responded, “Actually no, I don’t know.” I shared the gospel, explaining our need for atonement through Jesus.
Dr. Jacobs completely disagreed, but to our amazement, he had a copy of the Bible (along with the Qur’an and a lot of other literature from different religions) on his bookshelf. His view was that everyone is entitled to their own idea of what truth is. I challenged him to prayerfully read the Bible and to ask God to show him the truth about Jesus. I showed Dr. Jacobs our book, Jewish Doctors Meet the Great Physician and he readily took it and agreed to read it!
The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” There are often moments when it seems we don’t have time to say a word about Jesus, but what a blessing that Vera, amidst her own medical emergency, felt the urgency of her doctor’s need for Jesus. Please pray for God to bless the gospel seed that was planted in the heart of Dr. Jacobs!
*Names have been changed to protect both patient’s and doctor’s identities.