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How to share the Gospel with Your Jewish Friends

If you are a Christian and have Jewish friends, coworkers and even family members, then chances are that you have wondered how to go about sharing the Gospel with them. You may also be hesitant to do so. Or even - let's be honest - frightened. Will they be offended and never speak to you again? Will they overwhelm you with their superior knowledge of the Scriptures?

Will they tear the clams of the Gospel to shreds and leave your faith in tatters? Upon closer examination, like most things that "go bump in the night," these fears are revealed to be vastly overblown in the light of the Word. Sharing the Gospel with the Jewish people is not dreadful, but quite the opposite. You may even find unexpected blessings as you do it.

1. The Jewish People - A Broad Spectrum

As with any group, the Jewish people cannot be described in any one way. In fact, since Jewish people have established communities on virtually every continent, their diversity is arguably greater than most. So, from the outset, let it be understood that in this increasingly mobile, "global village" world, there is no one representative Jewish person. The second fact to grasp is that there is also a broad spectrum of religious faith and practice among Jewish people. At one end of the spectrum are the ultra-Orthodox, who form strong, insulated communities and order their lives according to a strict hierarchy of authority and religious observance. On the other end, there are Jewish people with no belief in God or any observable Jewish identity at all. And, of course, there is the vast "in between" that gravitates either to one side or the other.

The approach you take with your Jewish friend will depend greatly on what point along the spectrum he or she happens to occupy.

2. Making Contact

We live in an increasingly secular culture. Like many others, the Jewish people have been affected by this drift. Intermarriage with Gentiles is over fifty percent and religious observance is the exception, rather than the rule. The chances are that, while your Jewish friend may have had a religious grandparent, he or she may not be observant. If this is not the case, you'll soon find out. So, how should you begin? While Jewish people may be less religious, they are also, as a general rule, spiritually curious. While most Jewish people have, for many reasons, an instinctive reaction against Christianity, they may be open to you, as a Christian, personally.

Spacertop

3. Begin with Friendship

Communication and friendship develops in stages with anyone. Ask questions. You may find that your willingness to listen, learn and take a genuine interest in the other person will produce a similar response.

You also have an ally that is above all others. The Word of God has a power Whose source can never fail. As it is written in Isaiah 55:1, ""My word ... shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."

Not everyone will be open to your message, of course. But once you meet a Jewish person who is actually willing to search the Scriptures with you, the Word of God will do its work.

4. Be Patient and Understanding

The Jewish people have had a centuries-long, difficult relationship with the Church. This has been particularly true in Europe and Russia, where most of the Jewish community in North America has its roots. Many families have personal histories of persecution that have been passed down through the generations. Because of this, Jewish people are particularly sensitive about being "coerced" or "manipulated" by Christians.

Also, Jewish people have been taught to equate turning to Jesus with abandoning their Jewish identity. This is a thought from which even the most hardened Jewish atheist recoils. To be a convert is, in the Jewish mind, the equivalent of being a traitor -- to one's family, to one's history and to one's self.

This is the real heart of the matter. The particular challenge of Jewish evangelism is this:

Not only must we make a persuasive case for the Gospel, but we must also show that if a Jewish person accepts the Messiah, he or she remains a Jew or as Rosalind Moss put it, paraphrasing: You can't be more Jewish than by being a Catholic.

Spacertop

5. Have Confidence in the Lord

The Apostle Paul wrote, "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." (Colossians 4:6). These words continue to be an encouragement to believers everywhere. One need not be a great Bible scholar or theologian to bring the Word of God to others. The eloquent witness of the presence of the Lord in your life is a far more powerful testimony than you may know. You may see the seed you plant come to fruition or that gift may come to someone else. In the end, it does not matter, for it is Messiah who is the Lord of the harvest.

6, Make the Message Clear ... and Jewish

  • Pray before you witness.
  • Begin with your personal testimony.
  • Present the Gospel from the Old Testament:
    • The Jewishness and humanity of the Messiah
    • The divinity of the Messiah
    • The sacrificial death of the Messiah
    • The resurrection of the Messiah
  • Avoid "Christian" jargon that Jewish people may not understand.
  • Share Chosen People Ministries tracts and books with your Jewish friend.
  • Introduce your Jewish friend to a Jewish believer.
    If you don't know one, ask us at 1-888-2-YESHUA or visit our web site.
  • Answer objections (see our web site, www.chosenpeople.com, and other publications for more training).
  • Don't give up! Keep praying!

    Spacertop

Source: The Chosen People: Reaching Jewish People worldwide since 1894. Volume VII, Issue 8 Special Edition

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