Isaiah 53: In Their Own Language
An Israeli woman reads from a Hebrew painting of Isaiah 53
Missionary couple Yoel and Adel Ben David were the force behind our most recent outreach in Tel Aviv, a collection of the Multitudes art work in a secular gallery. Multitudes is a series of paintings by artist Steffi Geiser Rubin, which depicts the Gospel of Matthew in twenty illustrations that focus on the Jewish context and identity of the Messiah. Yoel was overjoyed as he watched Israelis stream into the venue to view the ancient Messianic texts of our people artistically and beautifully communicated. Here is what he said about two French Jewish women he spoke with during the event:
“Leah* was fascinated by the idea that Jesus could be thought of in a Jewish context. She listened with wide eyes as I explained that Jesus was not only written about by Jews, but that also much of his life is described in the Tanakh [Old Testament]. Her friend, Rachel,* was not as interested. She did not like the idea that a Jew could believe in Jesus and felt that it was an affront to the memory of those Jews who were persecuted by Christians. I told her that I understood her perspective, but that in this gallery we weren’t looking at the Christianity of the Middle Ages or any other time period, even though there is much to learn there too. We are looking at Jesus, someone who not only taught people to love their enemies, but lived it out even to death. Pray for Rachel and Leah, and for all of the “Rachels” and “Leahs” that we meet.
Ofer talking with a visitor
Meanwhile, the rest of our staff were wrapped up in their own conversations. Tatyana Bolotova, who had prayed that she might be able to connect to some Russian speakers at the event, met a Russian Jewish woman named Julia,* who is searching for God in the midst of chemotherapy. Julia asked Tatyana about one of the paintings which portrays Pesach [Passover]; she had never heard about the connections between Yeshua [Jesus] and Passover. The two women agreed to stay in touch and continue their discussion.
Ofer Levy had a chance to connect with one of the gallery staff. He reported:
“Ori* was curious about how I came to have faith and what distinguishes followers of Yeshua. I explained that my life was changed after reading the gospel of John as a young adult. Ori answered that there is no tangible proof to explain my faith and I responded by saying that ‘Faith is the evidence of things not seen [Hebrews 11:1],’ and that the prophets foretold in detail the coming of the Messiah, His suffering and death, as well as His resurrection [1 Peter 1:10-11]. I said, ‘The disciples witnessed Yeshua’s glory as they lived alongside Him, just as you and I are conversing right now. They left us their reliable story in the Brit HaChadashah [New Testament], which is the key to unlock the prophecies found in the Hebrew Scriptures.’ Ori continued to ask more questions about how the prophecies find their fulfillment in Yeshua. Pray that we will meet again!”
*Not their real names
Art: a language the whole world speaks