Note: This is part two of a two-part series. For part one, click here.
Second, we must gain a better understanding of the current barriers that exist that have prevented Jewish people from coming to faith. Even with Maria's skill in communicating the gospel to me, it was so incredibly difficult for me to even consider Yeshua/Jesus. This was as a result of what my people have suffered due to the horrible persecution that was bestowed upon them by the church and the Gentile world throughout the past 2000 years, blaming them for Christ's death. It is no longer only the fact that Jewish people did not accept Yeshua/Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah that keeps them away from God, but rather what has been done to them in the name of Christ, which is why Christian symbols are so offensive to Jewish people, for in the past, they have been used as weapons against them. In light of this, we must gain a better understanding of the past and their emotional and spiritual barriers to help us to be more sensitive in our witness. Throughout my nine months of resistance to the faith when Maria came into my life, this factor played a huge role in keeping me apart from God and is the main reason today that keeps Western Jewish people away from their own Messiah. I write about these issues extensively in my second book, The Ezekiel Generation, and I would encourage you to pick up a copy and read it.
As we draw closer to the times of Yeshua's/Jesus' return, these issues are becoming highly significant to us in fulfilling our end-time roles and destinies, not only to help win Israel back to faith, but also to see the Lord's return; and the two have a most definite connection. For Mashiach/Christ will not return until Israel says, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" (Matt.23:39b).
As a result, when we look to bring the gospel back to Israel, it should be from their own heritage; from their Jewish vine and their roots, in order that they can be re-established back into their own natural branch, that we can finally find unity with them as the children of the living God, as one united family. This was Paul's heart to be a Jew to the Jews and Gentile to the Gentiles; this is God's heart (see 1 Cor. 9:20)
Below are some good tips of what to say and what not to say when sharing the good news with Jewish people:
Don't use Christian terms that have been used against them; Use Jewish terms.
- Yeshua for Jesus
- Messiah or Mashiach for Christ
- Tree, crucifixion tree for cross
- New Covenant for gospel
- Congregation for church
- When praying in front of your Jewish friends, use Jewish terms. This is not easy to start with.
- Be careful how you explain the Trinity, some Jewish people think we worship 3 gods—This link may help.
- Avoid Christianese: The repetition of "hallelujah" and "praise the Lord" in your speech, they will think you are weird
- Learn about the Jewish Feasts and use them to share your faith
Finally, if every Christian living around Jewish people committed themselves to one Jewish person or family, to love them, to pray and intercede for their faith, to hold onto them as Maria did for me. How long do you really think it would take the Christian world to reach the Jewish people?
Click here to listen to a podcast on lifestyle Jewish evangelism.
Grant Berry is a Jewish believer in Yeshua/Jesus and author of The New Covenant Prophecy and The Ezekiel Generation. He founded Reconnecting Ministries with the specific focus to help the church reconnect spiritually to Israel and considers it vital to the kingdom of G-d in the last days. His message focuses on the unity, love and healing that the Father wants to bring between Jew and Gentile, yet clearly points out the differences and misunderstandings between the two groups. Now is the time to look more carefully into this mystery to make way for healing and reconnection in the Spirit. For more information, please visit reconnectingministries.org.
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