“Kathy” Draws Close to the Kingdom
I’ve served with Jews for Jesus for over 18 years. Like my brother Steve, I appreciate our brothers and sisters in Christ who entrust their Jewish friends to us for ministry. Mel Hellman’s
The people we work with or live next door to have the same deep spiritual need for the Lord that you and I have. But no matter how much we care for them, it is easy to feel intimidated by the prospect of sharing our faith. After all, it feels risky witnessing to friends and colleagues who may reject us. In addition, Gentiles often fear that they can’t effectively witness to a Jewish person because of crosscultural differences. We encourage people that many a Jewish believer in Jesus has come to faith through the witness of a Gentile friend. But we are also more than happy to step in when our readers ask us for an “assist” in witnessing to their Jewish friends.
Recently, just such a woman contacted the Los Angeles office to talk about a Jewish co-worker to whom she has been witnessing. She has had the courage to share her faith with her friend “Kathy” but she also thought it would be helpful to introduce her to a Jewish believer. We set up an appointment for the three of us to meet. Kathy seemed quite open to the gospel. However, she wanted to consider belief in Jesus in a Jewish context.
At our first meeting, Kathy listened intently as I told how I came to faith in Messiah Y’shua. I opened the Scriptures to Isaiah 53 and asked if she had ever read the passage. As is typical for our Jewish people, she had not seen it before. I asked her to read it out loud and to consider whom it might be speaking about. By the fourth verse, she stopped and exclaimed, “It’s Jesus!” At that point, I said, “I believe that too. And Isaiah wrote this passage over 700 years before Jesus was born!”
Kathy was amazed and wanted to learn more so I explained that there are many such prophecies in the Scriptures that point to Messiah Jesus. Kathy was open to another meeting so the following week, we met again, along with her Christian friend.
This time we discussed what it means to have a personal relationship with the Lord. Modern Judaism does not teach about a personal relationship with God, nor the eternal life that comes in “knowing the one true God” (John 17:3). We looked at various people throughout the Bible and how each of them personally related to God. I explained to Kathy that God still wants to have this kind of relationship with people today. I told her that there is a roadblock to that relationship: our sin. But Jesus came 2,000 years ago to offer His life as a sacrifice for sinful humanity. That seemed to catch Kathy’s attention.
Toward the end of our meeting, Kathy told me that she’d given her daughter “Nancy” the copy of my father’s story that I had given her the previous week. (My father, Fred Wertheim, is a Holocaust survivor who believes in Jesus.) Nancy was fascinated and didn’t want to return it. Apparently, she may be open to the Lord as well. Please pray that these Jewish seekers, Kathy and her daughter Nancy, will discover the reality of a living relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through our Messiah Jesus.
I know that this is a simple story and the end has yet to be written. But if you could imagine for a moment that Kathy is your friend or co-worker . . . well, you see how the simple story quickly becomes one of excitement and anticipation for you, as you watch someone who means so much to you begin to draw closer to Jesus. So please prayerfully consider referring your Jewish friends to us. We have some wonderful resources to assist you in your mission field!
Rob Wertheim is a senior missionary serving with the San Francisco branch of Jews for Jesus. He has been on staff since 1988 and has participated in and led several outreaches during that time. Rob’s father and mother are Holocaust survivors, originally from Germany and are also believers in Jesus. His wife, Sandy, is a Jewish believer as well. However, she is the only one in her family that knows the Lord. Rob and Sandy have three grown children, Saul, Rose and Josh.