It was a call our office manager did not expect to get: on the line was an instructor from a military preparatory program for religious girls. She explained that one of the objectives of the program is to acquaint the girls with different streams in Israeli society and asked if they could visit our congregation and have a presentation about Messianic Jews and our faith.
Wow! What an opportunity from the Lord to share the gospel with dozens of 18 to 19 year-old girls from a national Orthodox background! We usually go out from the congregation, in groups of two or three, to share the gospel with individuals, one at a time.
Here the Lord was bringing to us a group of several dozen young ladies to listen to the gospel in our own auditorium.
On the day we had arranged for their visit, the girls came pouring into the congregation— there were 40 to 50 of them! I started by telling them how much we appreciated their coming to hear directly from us about who we are and what we believe, instead of hearing it through second and third-hand sources.
I then began explaining to them that we see ourselves as a stream in Judaism that disagrees with rabbinical Judaism on two main points: the identity of the Messiah and the New Testament. On the first issue, I explained, we believe that Yeshua, a Jewish man born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, came as the Messiah to carry our sins as a perfect sacrifice to God, and that He will come again to judge and rule Israel and the whole world.
The second issue that sets us apart from rabbinical Judaism is that we believe in the divine authority of the New Testament, a Jewish book entirely written by Jews, while at the same time we do not believe that the Talmud (the main rabbinical writings) is divinely inspired. It is important to explain this framework to non-believing Jews, as our people have been brain-washed for thousands of years to see faith in Yeshua as something foreign, which has nothing to do with Judaism.
During the presentation, I went on to explain God’s redemptive plan for us through the sacrifice of the Messiah. There was a complete silence when I read Isaiah 53 to them and emphasized how this prophecy predicted that Israel would reject the Messiah:
“He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” (Isaiah 53:2-3)
There was so much to share, but time was running short and the girls started to ask so many questions. Clearly, they were very intrigued. We had to wrap up because their bus had come to pick them up and the instructor was hurrying them to leave, yet many of them still gathered around me, asking more questions.
Praise God for the work He is doing today in Israel! For softening and opening the hearts of the younger generations to listen and to want to know more about Yeshua and His teachings. Please pray for the seeds that were planted in the hearts of these precious young ladies that the Lord would nurture them to spring up to faith in due time. The rain of awakening in Israel is coming!
This article originally appeared on Tiferet Yeshua, April 8, 2018, and reposted with permission.