Changing Jewish lives The untold story
More Jewish people than ever are discovering Jesus as their Messiah, with lives being changed from Tottenham to Budapest to Israel. Here, our Scottish Deputation Secretary Ruairidh MacLean explains the vital importance of sharing with local churches the largely untold story of Jewish people coming to a saving faith in Jesus.
God has called me to encourage the churches to a deeper and more meaningful engagement with his salvation purposes for the Jewish people and, therefore, for the nations. For, as the apostle Paul tells us at the end of Romans 11, God’s purposes towards both Jew and Gentile are inextricably bound together. If we care about the one, we should also care about the other.
Sadly this is not always seen clearly by many in the church, whether through lack of teaching, incorrect teaching, prejudice or some other reason.
One individual I got to know since taking on this role, told me that before he heard me speak on the subject, he had never considered the need for Jewish mission. He says that the Lord, through the clear teaching of his Word, has brought him to a clear conviction of the necessity of evangelising the Jewish people.
Politics and Prejudice
Since coming into this work I have had some real encouragements: churches with no previous connection to CWI are showing an interest in the work; there has been a positive response to my ministry in existing supporting churches; I have received some financial support and have made good contacts with local churches. However, it is God’s prerogative to convince people of the truth, which is why I and the other CWI deputation workers and missionaries who do the work of deputation need your prayers.
There are also challenges. I have encountered the occasional individual whose political stance on the Middle East blinds them to the biblical imperative to share the gospel with Jewish people, or even to pray for them. I need wisdom to be able to challenge their prejudices in a calm and constructive way so that they will be convinced of the need to seek the spiritual good of Jewish people and go on to pray that they will be brought to faith in Jesus as their own Messiah. Also, there are many churches that are simply not interested in engaging with Jewish mission. My prayer is that there would be a change of heart for many in the churches. Please pray with me that the Lord would take my words and use them to persuade people of his truth, and pray for opportunities to speak at churches who are unaware of or even indifferent to the work of Jewish mission.
Although deputation is the main focus of my work, to a small but growing extent I have become involved in outreach. I help run the Glasgow Festival Outreach Meetings to which those reaching out to Jewish folk can bring their friends who are interested in hearing more about the gospel. As Jewish and Gentile folk who have not yet believed come along to the meetings, our aim is that the message of hope they hear will find a place in their hearts and minds.
At our recent Purim outreach meeting, Barry, a Jewish friend of our Glasgow based missionary, who is not a believer was there for the first time. He was an engaging individual and was very positive about the message he heard there. We trust that the Lord will open the hearts of Barry and others like him who were present at this and other outreach events we put on.
I have also begun attending the choir of which our missionary is a member. Although I have only been a few times, I have got to know some of the male members, a few of whom are Jewish, and I have a good rapport with them. I would also love to get to know some of the Jewish folk in East Kilbride where we live. We know they are here but have not had the
privilege of getting to know any of them yet! My desire is that the contacts I establish will develop into real friendships and that the result will be opportunities to share the reason for the hope that is within me. Please pray to this end.