Convincing the Jewish people to accept Jesus may very well be one of the most difficult tasks that Christians may ever face.
But as Stuart Greaves, who heads up the Executive Leadership Team at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City says, it's one of the most important ones because the Jewish people are in dire need of hope and confidence for the future.
The Isaiah 62 Fast, which began on May 7 and will run through May 28, is one of the biggest prayer initiatives for Israel in history. Greaves says Christians must continue to pray diligently for their Jewish brothers and sisters to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
"If there is anything we need in this hour, it's intercession for the Jewish people," Greaves says. "The revelation of the Son of God must break in on them for the conviction of sin, so that they would turn to their Messiah."
This is what the Isaiah 62 Fast is all about—21 days of prayer and fasting for Israel to cover the Jewish people in these end times.
"When it comes to the question of the Jewish people, the question of Israel, there is a need for hope. So what is to be our approach in reaching them?" Greaves asks. "It's the gospel, because the gospel is the message of hope. I think that's very important, specifically when it comes to the Jewish people, and here's why:
"When I think of the history of the Jewish people as seen throughout Scripture in terms of the oppression of Egypt, the oppression of the Babylonians, the oppression of the Romans and the atrocities that happened during Nazi Germany, I think of a people that have gone through more travesties and pain and suffering over millennia than anyone in history. They are a people who need hope and who need assurances about why they exist."
The people of Israel suffer through daily attacks and threats from terrorists throughout the Middle East, many of whom have claimed that their hope is to "wipe Israel off the map."
Meanwhile, they go about their normal routine while fear and discouragement have become a staple in the lives of the people of Israel.
Greaves says Jews can draw a great deal of hope from many parts of the Bible, including Daniel 7. Daniel was a prophet in Babylonian captivity, and Greaves says he was a man who needed assurances about the promises of God from Genesis chapters 11 and 12.
"In Daniel 7, we find this glorious plan delineated by God—His divine strategy of who is going to lead His people into the promises He made to His servant Abraham," Greaves says. "We find there the Son of Man, from the New Testament, and that the Son of Man is the Jewish man Jesus Christ. To Him was given a kingdom and a dominion and authority. But as we find out later in Daniel 7, the people received what the Son of Man received. They received the power, the dominion and the authority. But there was a caveat, a qualifier that was precedes them receiving the kingdom of authority. And that is suffering .... The Holy Spirit highlights that through the angel at least three times in Daniel 7 that you will suffer."
And indeed, Jews have suffered, just as Jesus Christ did before He came into His glory.
"The gospel gives us the message of hope, the assurance of everything that God promised to the Jewish people, the nations, will come about," Greaves said. "With Jesus, we, and they, have the assurance of the promises. It says so in Acts 17 that the Resurrection was an assurance. ... All of the promises that God made to Abraham are embodied in this man, Jesus Christ, and He will bring it about to the Jewish people and unto the nations of the earth."
That's why, Greaves said, it is crucial for believers to continue to pray for the Jews and for their eyes to be opened to the saving knowledge of Christ.
Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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