Ahasver, the legendary figure of the eternally wandering Jew by Marc Chagall
When I was growing up my mom hung some beautiful plants in the window of our family room. Their purple and green leaves always looked full and fresh. The plants, called “Wandering Jews,” actually looked a lot nicer than the notion behind their name. That name reminds me of the 40 years Israel wandered in the wilderness.
Sadly, we were experiencing the judgment of God for our unbelief. We refused to trust God for victory over those who occupied the Land He had promised, and so we had to wander until a new generation could claim His promise. Yet we also experienced God’s care as He provided manna, water and shoes that didn’t wear out. Even so, wandering has continued to be a metaphor for those under God’s judgment.
Before Israel existed, the Bible tells us that Cain was forced to become a wanderer as judgment for murder. Proverbs warns us not to wander from the path of wisdom and of course tells of judgment for those who do. The image of the wanderer as one who is judged has continued throughout history and unfortunately has been attached to certain disturbing and ugly anti-Semitic stories and prejudices.
But the good news is that God has forever changed the connotation of the wandering Jew, I believe, by establishing the modern state of Israel. Just because we were wandering Jews didn’t mean we were no longer under the sovereign watch-care of our God. He was with us all along. He brought us back to the Land He swore to give to Abraham forever, and He has promised to be with us and continue watching over us in the future. He that watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4).
All those who seek to live godly in Christ Jesus can take great comfort in this truth. God always watches over ALL His own, and that means over every Jew and Gentile who is a child of Abraham by faith. As He did with the Israelites in the wilderness, God provides for His children even when we wander far from Him. That is worth getting excited about. How we need the assurance of His faithful watch-care.
In the words of a beloved hymn we can agree:
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;”
“Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;”
In fact, the truth behind these precious words has led some of God’s choice servants to become wanderers, not from God, but for God. Throughout history many have traveled far and wide to share the message of salvation found in Jesus. Some of these men and women remind me of those mentioned in Hebrews 11:38, “of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” This kind of wandering is in obedience to the command of Jesus to “go” and follows the example of Jesus who often “had nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20; Luke 9:58).
Missionaries who follow in obedience to our Lord’s great commission are true wanderers for Jesus. This month most of our Jews for Jesus missionaries have become temporarily wandering Jews. We by no means face the deprivations of those mentioned in Hebrews, but we would value your prayers. During the entire month of March we are traveling throughout different countries presenting the message of the precious blood of the Passover Lamb through “Christ in the Passover” presentations in churches. Many of our friends and supporters first became acquainted with our ministry through this presentation. More than that, many Jewish people have discovered the truth of Jesus by seeing the wonderful way God revealed His plan of redemption through the gospel in the story of the Passover.
Please pray for our wandering Jews for Jesus missionaries over these next few weeks and for all those who will hear and see them. Pray that we will gain many new friends for our ministry and that many who need to know Jesus will hear and respond to the gospel.
Check it out:
|Check if we are giving Passover presentations in your area – enter your zip code on the right side of our events page and click search.|
|In this month’s Jews for Jesus Newsletter, David answers the question “What one word would you use to describe yourself?” You can read his inspirational reflections here.|
|Also, this month we mailed out a message from David in a letter called “Life from the Dead” that includes brief stories of Holocaust survivors who have come to faith. The letter presents a special need and the opportunity for you to help. Click here to see the letter.|