“Why do the Jews suffer?”
This question had been haunting Terry* his entire life. He had grown up in Eastern Europe, where his parents were Jewish survivors of World War II. His family immigrated to Canada in 1968 looking for a better life, but Terry’s turmoil over what his family had gone through and his spiritual hunger would not go away.
Terry had first been introduced to Jews for Jesus during our 2015 Pan Am outreach in Toronto. Soon thereafter he started meeting with our Canada director, Andrew Barron. During one of their meetings Terry told Andrew what he believed to be the reason for all the suffering of the Jewish people across the centuries: Jesus. Like many Jewish people around the world, all Terry knew about Jesus was that he had failed to fulfill the expectation that Messiah would bring world peace. Instead, many people had been persecuted in his name.
Andrew understood where Terry was coming from. After all, he had once been very skeptical of the New Testament himself, thinking it wasn’t a book for Jewish people. Andrew thoughtfully responded: “Terry, I don’t excuse persons who caused our people to suffer in the name of Jesus. My concern at the moment is you. How do you know that your sins are forgiven?”
Andrew then opened the Bible and went through several passages to explain the gospel to Terry. He asked him if he believed that Jesus could be the Messiah, even in a broken world. Andrew explained that Jesus redeemed us through His death and resurrection, but that there would be a time when He would come and enforce peace.
“I asked Terry if he thought he could have personal redemption, even now. He told me he would have to think about it and we agreed to meet again,” said Andrew. “Personally, I find great comfort in knowing that we do not worship a God who is immune to pain. Jesus the Messiah came down from the bliss of heaven into our world of woe. He came as the spiritual solution, the reason to get up in the morning.”
Pray for Terry to come to know the Messiah who said, “My shalom I give you…do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Read more of Andrew’s reflections on the question of suffering here.
*Not his real name