July 3, 2012 – A Jewish Encounter

While in a park one day, a young Jewish girl came over to ask me the time.  She noticed that I was wearing a Star of David necklace.  She asked me if I was Jewish and I said that I was not, but that I loved the Jewish Messiah.

Where I lived at the time there were many Jewish people and I had numerous opportunities for sharing my faith with Jewish people.  Unfortunately, their hearts were hardened by the Jesus I presented.   I did not understand why they didn’t want to hear about Jesus, but they were definitely uninterested.   One day while reading in Romans 11:13,  I saw my calling as a gentile was to make the Jew envious for their Messiah.  I prayed for direction and understanding of what that meant for me as one of the nations.  Soon after, I became grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel. It changed the way in which I viewed the gospel and the way I shared Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) with a questioning Jew.

“Do you keep the Sabbath?” she asked.

“Yes,” I responded.  “Yeshua, who is the Messiah of Israel, said that he is Lord of the Sabbath (Mt. 12:8).  So, yes, I keep the seventh-day Sabbath according to the commandment just like Yeshua.”  Through much study of Scripture and church history, I learned that the Sabbath was never changed by God.  In fact, the Sabbath as it was created in the beginning will be restored in eternity (Is. 66).

She became curious now.   Her next question was the one I expected because it always seemed to BE the next question.   “Do you eat kosher?”

“No, I do not eat kosher or Rabbinical, but I do eat according to the commands in Leviticus.”  From studying Leviticus 11, I learned that God created some things for food and other things were not to be eaten.  Many people cite Acts 10 as justification to eat everything as food,  but even Peter and the Council in Jerusalem understood his vision meant the gospel would go to the gentiles and had nothing to do with food.

I knew that her third question was a test.   “Do you believe in the trinity?”

“No,” I responded.  “I believe that God is Echad or ‘one’ as spoken in the Shema.   I believe that there is evidence in the Bible that Elohim reveals Himself in different ways: as the Spirit hovering over the deep in Genesis, as the voice in the burning bush in Exodus, and as the commander of the Lord’s army in Joshua.  I know that Elohim has a breath, a voice, and a right hand, but they are all ‘echad’.”

From her smile, I knew I had passed the test.  However, the next question took me a little by surprise, but I understood why she had to ask.    All of the questions she had previously asked had their root in obeying the Torah, the teachings and instructions of God.  Though I had chosen to obey those commands, she had to be sure that the Yeshua taught the commands of God or he could not be her Jewish Messiah.

“The Messiah will teach Torah.  Does Yeshua teach Torah?”

“Yes, of course Yeshua teaches Torah or he wouldn’t be the Messiah, the righteous one.  Yeshua actually says that he did not come to abolish the Torah, but to fulfill it and that anyone who breaks the least of the commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5:17-20).

She nodded with a sense of understanding.   I could tell she wanted to know this Jewish man named Yeshua a little better.    I suggested she begin reading the Bible and she admitted that she had never really done that, but it was time to see for herself.  As we parted ways back into our individual lives,  I knew that she would one day meet Yeshua personally and put her faith in the Messiah, the salvation of Israel.

©2012 Tent Stake Ministries

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