Time to Invest
Bret is a financial analyst for an established brokerage house in Los Angeles. He spends much of his day on the telephone with company representatives, assessing the value of their stocks or bonds. Bret is accustomed to asking questions about market issues; in his business, it’s known as due diligence.” In other words, he’s responsible to his clients to diligently research matters so that he is well informed and can provide professional advice.
About two years ago, Bret began making a spiritual inquiry, calling out to God to reveal His truth. Shortly after, he met several Christians who encouraged him to read the Bible in order to discern God’s plan for the ages. Eventually, one of his Christian friends suggested that since Bret is Jewish, he would do well to call our office. Bret called and told me he had “some questions.”
From our first meeting, I was impressed by Bret’s sincerity, intelligence and focus. He smiled and warned me that he had numerous questions, citing a proverb that his father gave him, “A fool has more questions than a wise man could answer.” I assured him that he is no fool, since the Bible defines a fool as one who says in his heart, “There is no God.” I also pointed out that I’m no “wise man,” but merely a signpost to direct him in the way to truth.
Bret came into the office with about seven issues to talk through. Most of them had to do with “counting the cost” of following Jesus. True to his character and profession, he was going to pursue due diligence in order to do for himself what he would do for any client: fully investigate such a serious investment. I answered as best I could. The truth is, it is not “cheap” or easy to follow Jesus—it often costs us the good opinion of many who are dear to us, and it involves giving our whole selves to God as a living sacrifice. But what He gives back to us is more than we could ever hope or dream.
It was about a month and a half before Bret called wanting another appointment, but he called early, eager to get together that same day. When he arrived, he explained that he still had questions but was convinced of the truth of the gospel and ready to make a decision. Despite his uncertainties, he had enough faith to reach out and trust the Lord, expecting that God would provide answers to the rest of his questions over time. Bret was ready to invest his life in Jesus Christ.
I am thankful that Bret’s Christian friends cared enough for him to tell him about Jesus and encourage him to read the Bible. I appreciate their sensitivity in directing him to us when they sensed his questions might best be answered by Jews who have “been there.” Did you know that many of our most fruitful interactions are with Jewish people referred to us by friends like you? Maybe you have Jewish friends who, like Bret, have questions that we Jews for Jesus can answer. Won’t you give us the opportunity to help them on their way to faith?
Tuvya Zaretsky is one of the founders of the Jews for Jesus ministry. He was the first field missionary beginning his service in February 1974. Tuvya continues to serve the Lord, now as the Director of Staff Development internationally, based out of the Los Angeles office. He also chairs the Board for the Jews for Jesus branch in Tel Aviv, Israel. Tuvya was raised in Northern California in the institutions of American Judaism. During his bar mitzvah at age thirteen, Tuvya read from Isaiah 6:1-8 and declared with the prophet, Hineni-Here I am, send me!" However, his search for God and spiritual truth didn't come into focus until ten years later, when a Christian colleague encouraged him to seek God in the pursuit of truth. Tuvya came to believe in Y'shua (Jesus) on December 7, 1970. Ever since, he has been joyfully saying to God, "Hineni-Here am I." The full story is available by that title, in a booklet form here. Tuvya has provided the leadership of Jews for Jesus branches and evangelistic campaigns in major cities of the US and in Israel. He headed up the Las Vegas Behold Your God (BYG) campaign in 2005 and co-led the 2006 BYG outreach in New Jersey. He is now also an administrator for the website www.JewishGentileCouples.com. In April, 1989, Zaretsky was present at the Willowbank Consultation on the Christian Gospel and the Jewish people, that produced the watershed Willowbank Declaration. Tuvya has presented missiology papers at the Evangelical Theological Society, the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) and at the Global Diaspora Missiology Consultation in 2006. He currently serves as president for the International Coordinating Committee of the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism, a networking body of Jewish mission agencies. He was editor of the Lausanne Occasional Paper 60, Jewish Evangelism" A Call to the Church in 2004. He was a contributing author of Israel the Land and People edited by H. Wayne House (Kregel Publishers, 1998). His doctoral dissertation, co-authored with Dr. Enoch Wan, was published as Jewish-Gentile Couples: Trends, Challenges and Hopes (William Carey Library Publishers, 2004). He authored or edited articles for the June 2006 issue of MISHKAN themed, "The Gospel and Jewish-Gentile Couples" (Jerusalem) . And in 2008 he was coordinator and contributor for the World Evangelical Alliance Consultation that produced "The Berlin Declaration on the Uniqueness of Christ and Jewish Evangelism in Europe Today". In 2013 Zaretsky was appointed to serve as the Senior Associate for Jewish Evangelism by the International Lausanne Movement. Tuvya has an M.A. in Missiology concentrating in Judaic Studies from Fuller Seminary's School of Intercultural Studies and the Doctor of Missiology degree from the Division of Intercultural Studies at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is married to Ellen, who is also a Jewish Believer in Jesus. They have three young adult children: Jesse, Abbie and Kaile.