Friday, 8 April 2022
More on Jewish Evangelism
Look what I found this morning. Have you ever heard of the Lausanne Movement? I did an internet search for Jewish Evangelism and the Lausanne Movement popped up first. I've heard of them before but had no idea how huge their reach is. One part of their worldwide evangelical vision is to see Israel saved. lausanne.org/networks/issues/jewish-evangelism
Their blogs go back almost 20 years and seem to have a strong connection to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Wheaton College. Like everything in the world today, we must use a Holy Spirit lens to filter the godly content from the ungodly. Yes, even the Lausanne Movement can mix ungodly content into their evangelistic motivations. It happens when they allow their desire for reconciliation among people groups to become so inclusive that it clouds their objective biblical mandate for holiness.
That said, please do not consider this as an endorsement of everything on their website. However; I found enough with which I am in agreement that I wanted to share what I found. Among the abundant content is a study of how Jewish people come to faith in Yeshua. It was authored back in 2013, but the author is not clear. It could be Susan Perlman who is the Chief Partnership Officer of Jews For Jesus.
The article (research study) is very informative. It says that 2 out of every 3 Jewish people who come to faith in Yeshua, do so either at a church, or from the witness of a friend or family member. That is strong objective encouragement for us to share our faith with Jewish friends and family. But, why is Jewish evangelism so difficult? It is because the whole "shirt" is buttoned wrong. Let me explain.
Having a right understanding of Who Yeshua is, is critical to everything else we hope to know. Get that wrong, and nothing else lines up. Modern Judaism has become the religion against Yeshua as much as it is the religion for God and His principles. With that "top button" wrong, how will anything else line up properly? Let's return to our quest to find the answers to Jewish evangelism in the book of Isaiah. About Whom is Isaiah writing?
Isaiah 42:6-7 I, Adonai, called You in righteousness, I will take hold of Your hand, I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, by opening blind eyes, bringing prisoners out of the dungeon, and those sitting in darkness out of the prison house.
Isaiah 42 is full of Messianic prophesy. The rabbis refuse to see it, believing instead that it is all about Hezekiah, or perhaps the people of Israel, themselves. Many Jewish people do not believe in a personal (or a person who is) Messiah, but rather, they choose to believe in a Messianic age, similar to the expectation of the age of Aquarius. Their challenge is to fit the entire chapter (not just a verse or two) into that mindset.
Isaiah 42:16 I will bring the blind by a way they do not know. in paths they have not known, I will guide them. I will turn darkness before them to light and the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them.
It is tempting to believe that "seeing" Israel will lead the "blind" nations out of darkness into His marvelous light. But only a few verses later, there is no one to deliver Israel themselves ... Isaiah 42:22 But this is a people robbed and looted. all of them trapped in holes, hidden away in prisons. They have become a prey with no one to deliver them, and plunder, with none to say, 'Give them back!" And there was no one to "give them back," until God sent His Son. Isaiah 43:3 For I am Adonai your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
The Bible prophesies a "hardening." Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant of this mystery - lest you be wise in your own eyes - that a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Let's break it down. The "hardening" of Jewish hearts is so significant, it is called a mystery. However; there is good news, that hardening is only partial and it is temporary.
Like a coconut that is cracked open, how sweet is the soft and tender inside. Romans 11:26a ... and in this way all Israel will be saved. Lord, bring the promised softness to Jewish hearts, as You fulfill all of Your promises to Your people, Israel. Amen.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,