Last month I received one of the most wonderful calls in the history of our radio broadcast, as a Jewish believer named Ron shared with our listeners how his 97-year-old mother had just put her faith in Yeshua the Messiah.
Rejoicing in the Lord, I posted this on Facebook, writing with tears of joy: “Today, a Jewish man from Toronto called the Line of Fire to report that his 97-year-old mother, who had not been able to receive Yeshua as Messiah because of Church history and ‘Christian’ persecution of the Jewish people, read The Real Kosher Jesus. After reading it, she said, ‘That was the validation I needed,’ and she put her faith in our Messiah!”
That led to a lot more rejoicing on Facebook, with hundreds of others sharing in the joy that was certainly taking place in heaven. As Jesus himself explained, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” And, “There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7, 10, ESV).
But not all of my Facebook friends were happy—especially one very sincere, ultra-Orthodox rabbi and counter-missionary. He posted that he, too, was in tears, but they were tears of sadness. He added the scriptural reference of Hosea 4:6, where God says that his people perish for lack of knowledge, as if this dear woman believed in Yeshua out of ignorance. To the contrary, it was out of wonderful knowledge revealed to her that she received the “validation” she needed to believe in the Messiah.
Another woman named Denise (whom I don’t know) was quite harsh, posting this: “Nice post ........ a Jewish woman age 97 ...... pathetic lowest of the lowest. Sick demented minds, who go after the elderly and the young, EXPLOITATION. Leopards don't change their spots - eh, 2000 years and still counting. Can't even follow the most important thing of all .... Love your neighbor as yourself ...... you can't you’re so full of your own ego. You want validation you will get yours, be rest assured.”
Now, I fully understand why some of my fellow Jews get so upset about a Jew coming to Jesus, especially an elderly Jew. After all, for centuries, professing Christians persecuted Jewish people in Jesus’ name, making a mockery of His name. I documented this in detail in my book Our Hands Are Stained With Blood, a book that has been continuously in print for the last 21 years and has been translated into multiple languages.
In fact, this is something I was confronted with by my local rabbi just weeks after getting saved, as he wanted me to understand that my ancestors chose to die rather than be baptized into this “Christian” faith, but here I was doing it willingly. Worse still, I was trying to convince other Jews to believe in Jesus.
This explains some of the faith struggles this 97-year-old Jewish woman experienced, and it was only when she discovered who the real Yeshua was and learned the truth about church history that she was able to put her trust in the One who shed His blood for her.
Sadly, the anger in Denise’s heart blinded her from hearing the truth at all; otherwise, she never would have written, “Pathetic lowest of the lowest. Sick demented minds, who go after the elderly and the young, EXPLOITATION.”
First, it was the 97-year-old woman’s son who gave her the book to read. Should he not care for his elderly mother? How is this a pathetic, sick and demented thing to do? And why do I get blamed for it? (Actually, I don’t need to ask that question. I get blamed for a lot of things!)
Second, don’t traditional Jewish groups reach out to elderly Jews, not to mention young Jews on college campuses? And don’t they raise all kinds of funds for Jewish educational programs for children of all ages? Why then is it “EXPLOITATION” when we share the Good News of Yeshua the Messiah with Jewish friends and family members? (For the record, in Israel, it’s illegal to try to proselytize a minor.)
Third, here we have a grown man who prayed for his mother for years and who reached out to her in love, yet Denise wrote in response, “Can't even follow the most important thing of all .... Love your neighbor as yourself.” Actually, that’s exactly what Ron was doing.
Denise is convinced, however, that I can’t love my neighbor as myself because “[I’m] so full of [my] own ego,” claiming that one day I’ll get my “validation” (apparently meaning some kind of judgment from God; she also seems to have missed that it was the precious old woman who needed validation for her step of faith).
What Denise doesn’t know is that in the days to come, there will be a massive harvest of Jewish souls into the kingdom of God (Rom. 11:26-29), as secular Jews and religious Jews and old Jews and young Jews and Jews of every stripe and background make the extraordinary discovery that the one they rejected or reviled or ignored or misunderstood was actually their Messiah and King. As the old hymn says, “What a day of rejoicing that will be.”
Perhaps Denise and my dear Orthodox Jewish friends will be among that number!
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