Over The Counter Conversation
Oftentimes we emphasize that many of us in Jews for Jesus came to the Lord through the ministry of a Gentile Christian. Sometimes too, it is the combined witness of Gentile and Jewish Christians that helps somebody take the first step of faith .
Recently, I had the opportunity to be a part of just such a witness. It was in Portland and a group of us had been handing out tracts for about forty-five minutes. We were just gathering together to get something to eat when the counter girl from a nearby orange juice stand called out.
"Is that a different kind of pamphlet?" she asked. "I already have the first kind."
I smiled and handed her the tract she hadn’t yet seen.
"I’m Jewish, and I don’t yet believe in Jesus ," she said . "But I am interested in Him."
I asked her what prompted her interest, and she told me how a high school teacher of hers (whom she described as a "strong Christian") had given her a copy of Josh McDowell’s book, More Than a Carpenter. The historical evidence in the book, and the witness of her teacher, convinced her that there was truth in the claims of Christ, but she couldn’t reconcile the idea of belief in Jesus with her Jewish upbringing.
"I can’t see how one can be Jewish and a Christian at the same time," she explained.
"I’ll tell you what," I said. "Let me send you some literature on what we believe and why. Maybe we can help explain the same message from a Jewish Christian perspective."
"I’d love to see that," she replied with enthusiasm.
Please pray for Elisa, that the combined witness of many Christians in her life will help bring her to faith, even while it serves as an example of how all of us, Jews and Gentiles in Christ, need one another to effectively be His ambassadors in the world.
Scholar in Residence, Missionary
Rich Robinson is a veteran missionary and senior researcher at the San Francisco headquarters of Jews for Jesus. Rich has written several books on Jewishness and Jesus, and he received his Ph.D. in biblical studies and hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1993.