The Winter 2009 issue of DTS’s Kindred Spirit magazine is devoted to God’s heart for the Jewish people. One article in particular caught my attention: “An Uncommon Friendship” (pp. 14-15). It is about a DTS graduate, a contemporary of mine (Ken Hendren graduated two years before I did; thus we overlapped for two years).
Ken and his wife moved to Israel and became Israeli citizens in 1982. This story is about Ken’s friendship with a Jewish teen-aged boy, a friend of his daughter. They would meet for hours at a time to discuss the Old Testament, as well as life.
The following paragraph by Ken, who goes by Noam in Israel, caught my attention, as I believe it will yours:
Noam: I could see that David was leaning toward faith in Yeshua [i.e., Jesus], so I knew I needed to warn him. “David, before you make any decisions, you need to know that, here in the Land, putting your faith in Yeshua is not going to score you any points. It could bring a lot of problems with family, rejections by your friends, and people will think you’ve joined a cult. You really need to count the cost, because there could be negative ramifications.
He looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, it’s too late. I already believe that Yeshua is the Messiah!”
I’m not sure what Ken/Noam meant when he warned David about making any decisions. Did he think that faith in Jesus was one of these decisions? Regardless of what the evangelist meant, doc that his listener knew that faith is not a decision, and knew that the evidence had already persuaded him.
Of course, I would like it if David’s statement went on to indicate his assurance of his eternal destiny. In a testimony on the previous page, Susan Perlman, Associate Executive Director of Jews for Jesus, says, “When I fast on Yom Kippur, I do so knowing that my name is already written in the Book of Life—the Lamb’s book of life” [p. 13]. Hopefully David already believed this as well. However, I love the fact that David said, “I’m sorry, it’s too late. I already believe that Yeshua is the Messiah!” Belief is not a decision. It just happens when the evidence convinces someone. In this case the evidence from the Word of God, shared by Ken, convinced David that Jesus is indeed Israel’s long promised Messiah.