Why Jesus? Because of who he is. Because of what he said. Because his reality transforms lives in the midst of a broken world. Because he fulfills the hopes of our Jewish people, and of the rest of the world. Because he atones for our sins. Because believing in him makes sense. There are as many reasons for “why Jesus” as there are followers of him. Discover what some of them have found.
I googled “Christianity” and found the New Testament in Hebrew. I expected it to be an anti-Semitic book with stories about Santa Claus! But in the first pages, the Gospel of Matthew, I read the genealogy of Jesus and saw all these Hebrew names. It felt so familiar.
I kept looking for a traditional Jewish explanation that would satisfy, but found none. The only plausible explanation seemed to be Jesus.
My life’s two passions have been mathematics and being Jewish. I viewed life as one big equation and was always looking for its solution! So how does Jewish boy + a traditional Jewish education + mathematics PhD = believer in Jesus?
Jewish faith in Jesus was handed down from generation to generation on both sides of my family, so my parents are Jewish Iranian believers in Jesus.
I had a semblance of Jewish education and a strong sense of Jewish identity. But since my home was a home without God – and since the Christians and the Jews I knew did not seem to truly believe – I assumed that God must be present elsewhere.
She told me that Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. As soon as I heard that, it made perfect sense to me. Yeshua in Hebrew means “salvation.” Now if Jesus is salvation, I reasoned, it may be that He is the Messiah and I would not have to wait anymore.
I was trained in the scientific method, yet I had judged the New Testament without having read it. What kind of scientific method was that? So I took the book home and began reading it eagerly and with an open mind. It was not anti-Semitic – in fact, it was very Jewish.
When I realized he was trying to push Jesus on me, I threw him out of my house and told him never to speak to me again.
Hans handed Rich the Bible. “In that millisecond,” Rich recalls, “my life was shattered. The name that I saw at the top of the page was Isaiah! Hans had been reading to me from MY Bible, from my Hebrew Scriptures, and I felt as though someone had taken a sword and cut me to pieces.”
The doctor had already come in that morning to tell me about the cancer. I got emotional and cried. But I was already prepared by the time Jeff came in. Then Jeff told me that he had received Jesus as his Messiah, and that God told him I was going to be okay. And I felt pretty confident that I would be.
When the crowd asked Jesus one day, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” he answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:28–29). And who is the one God has sent? Yeshua.
Throughout my life and in Yeshiva, I had been taught that the Messiah who would come and redeem Israel would be from the line of King David. I asked God to give me a sign that would answer my questions and point me in the direction I needed to go in life.
I said, “God, if you’re real, show up.” And before me I saw the face of Jesus! I looked at it and I felt a presence in my room; and I felt afraid. I saw a clear vision of God—and ignored it.
“Knowing Jesus has changed every area of my life, not the least of which is my professional life. I am a full-time private practicing medical oncologist. My relationship with the living God gives my life meaning and fulfillment. It brings contentment, despite the painful realities of life and death.”
I had so many questions like “why is there one God for the Gentiles and another God for the Jews?”
Ceil Rosen, wife of Jews for Jesus founder, Moishe, had a unique Christmas experience, leading her to consider Jesus seriously as the alternative to religious Judaism or atheism.
I take comfort in Jesus’ words: “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life” (Luke 18:29–30).
He asked if I wanted to pray. I replied, “Sure, where’s the prayer book?” “You don’t need one,” he explained. “Just talk to God from your heart.” I folded my arms across my chest, looked upwards, and said, “God, I don’t know who You are. But I’m tired of doing it by myself, so You have a go.”