For a long time, we have been looking for a much-needed larger office from which to conduct our ministry in Toronto. The Lord answered many prayers in providing one. It didn’t need much work to make it usable, but it did need a fresh coat of paint. As soon as we had the signed lease, I went to look for paint. Marty Verk, an approved Jews for Jesus student attending Ontario Bible College, went with me. He knew of a store right near our new office.
We drove in the van emblazoned with our Jews for Jesus logo. When we parked in the lot, a man approached us and asked, What’s that?”
Sometimes people speak to us merely to argue or vent anger, so not knowing whether or not his question was sincere, I replied, “It’s about 2,000 years old.”
He was sincere. He responded by saying that he had never seen or heard of Jews for Jesus before. That led to a wonderful opportunity to present the gospel to him. His name was Ed. He came from a Reform Jewish background but did not consider himself very religious. His next question was almost predictable: “So which are you—Jewish or Christian?”
Marty and I responded almost in unison with a hearty “Yes!” That led to more confusion on Ed’s part. As we explained, it gave us the opportunity to tell him that we were born Jewish and had many friends who were born “Gentilish,” but that neither we nor they were born Christians. That was a matter of personal faith.
When I asked Ed if he had ever read the Bible, he said that he had not, and therefore did not know what the Scriptures say about the Messiah. He also was afraid that if he read the Bible, he might “just get hooked” and wouldn’t be able to stop reading it.
Undaunted, I asked Ed if we could send him a little information so he could know more, and I encouraged him to read Matthew. I also asked if he would like to get together with me over coffee to talk further. At that invitation, Ed handed me his business card and said, “By all means.” Please pray for Ed as we talk about the Messiah and what the Lord would have in store for him.
And what about the paint we had gone to purchase? The store we had thought was there had gone out of business. Eventually the office got its paint job, but it seems that the Lord had more in mind for us that day than a whitewashing of our new office. Rather, he wanted us to offer a washing away of sin through Yeshua in the life of one who “just happened” to see a van with the words “Jews for Jesus” on it.