The call came in
Susan Perlman reports from San Francisco, “I was thrilled when the call came in. Mark had been getting our ISSUES publication for more than 25 years – and he read each and every edition that came to his home. But the call did not come from Mark; it came from John, a Christian lawyer.
“John holds a Bible study in his New York office, and his friend Mark had been attending. The two had discussed Mark’s spiritual journey, and where Mark’s Jewishness fit in. Mark had seen my name as editor in chief of ISSUES and knew I had written several articles that he’d read (starting ISSUES in the mid-1970s was a big part of my ministry in the early days of Jews for Jesus). He and Mark discussed the possibility of the three of us meeting together. And so the call came in.
“Meeting face-to-face with some of our readers is one of my greatest joys. So there we sat for an hour and half in a coffee shop talking about Jesus! I know that John was encouraged too. Oh, how I pray for more Christians to reach out to their Jewish friends like John did.
“I asked Mark, ‘Have you ever studied the Messianic prophecies and how Jesus might possibly have fulfilled them?’ ‘No, I haven’t,’ he admitted. ‘Would you like to?’ I asked and then added, ‘John, would you like to sit down with Mark and go through the prophecies?’ He was eager. It happens that my first ‘adult coloring book,’ The Glory of the Messiah, had recently been published. It shows Messianic prophecies from the Old Testament fulfilled in the New, with corresponding line drawings to color in. So I promised I’d send them the book to help them get started.
“Mark received the coloring book and kept on meeting with John. More than a year later, another call came in. John was excited to tell me that Mark is now professing faith in Jesus! He’d told John that the meeting in that coffee shop had been the turning point for him. Mark remembered my telling him that if Jesus was the Messiah back then, He is still the Messiah today and will be the Messiah tomorrow. He doesn’t change, even if we have our ups and downs.
“It is not easy for new Jewish believers in Jesus to talk to their families about Him. When Mark began talking to his son and daughter-in-law about his beliefs, they told him he couldn’t mention Jesus in their Jewish home. He held firm as he responded, ‘I am a guest in your home. If you had a Hindu guest, you wouldn’t tell them they couldn’t mention Vishnu in your home.’ Please pray for Mark, for John who faithfully keeps that Bible study going and for many other ISSUES readers to get the messianic Jewish perspective.
“Postscript: Mark is eager to attend a Messianic congregation where he can meet other Jewish people who love Jesus. One of our New York staff has already connected with him and will bring him to a local congregation.”
Names are changed to protect privacy.