As part of our course for senior pastors, we had a week of intensive study in a hotel in Nazareth. And something rather wonderful happened.
Dr Erez Soref had gone to the hotel to visit with the pastors, but while the classes were in progress, he and a few others were sitting out in lobby. Suddenly, an official-looking lady holding a planner and notebooks appeared, asking for him by name. Erez assumed that she would be from the hotel staff, perhaps needing him to settle a bill, but it turned out that she was a delegate from a different conference about tourism at the same hotel. She had passed by a room full of pastors all talking about God, and wanted to sit in the class and listen.
She said she really wanted to know about God, so one of the pastors suggested that she should go and talk to Erez. So that’s what she decided to do. In talking to her, Erez discovered that she was from a nominal Christian Arab family from the local area, and he began to share about God’s love, His grace, and the peace that He gives, but she interrupted:
“Wait, but you’re Jewish? How come you’re talking to me about Jesus?”
But then she reasoned, “But Jesus was Jewish wasn’t he? So I guess it’s OK!”
She knew a little about Jesus, but Erez asked if she would like to get to know Him personally, and she cried a little, and said yes, she would. She had beaten cancer three years ago, but and had recently undergone another round of chemotherapy, which had also been successful, and the cancer was now in remission. She said that God had preserved her, and now she wanted to know Him.
Erez invited her to pray to Jesus according to his invitation in Revelation 3:20:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
She said to Erez, “You’re Jewish, but are there any Arabs here that believe in Jesus?” Erez called one of the Arab pastors over to join them, who was able to share with her in Arabic, her heart language, about the Lord.
He explained about the problem of sin, but she said that she didn’t sin – that she was a very good person. When her parents had died, she raised her siblings, and had always tried to do her best. Erez asked, “But have you ever wanted something someone else has? Envy something?” Her eyes widened, “Does that count as sin?” Together they discussed the matter, and explained about what sin is, and the One who had the authority to forgive her sins.
Soon she was ready to make a step of faith.
And so a Jewish Messianic believer, an Arab pastor, and the lady from Nazareth who wanted to come to Yeshua for forgiveness, all held hands as the Arab brother led her through a prayer to faith, from sin to repentance.
She sobbed as they encouraged her, and invited her to have lunch with them all. She sat with the group of Jewish and Arab pastors together, some of whom had churches right there in Nazareth, where she lives. She is now attending one of those churches, and has great hunger to grow in the Lord and to know Him.
Please pray for our new sister from Nazareth as she starts out in her new life with Jesus, in His home town.