Guest blog by Colin Mitchell.
As we flew as a family into the UK last night for a weeks’ holiday visit with our family, I found myself sitting in a row with two other Jewish men. Soon, a conversation was struck up between the three of us, which, on reflection, was very significant.
A very Jewish conversation
We had not met each other before. One was a young modern Orthodox Jew, who was returning home to the UK after a period of study at a Yeshiva (Jewish place of study for men) in Jerusalem.
The other Jewish man was, by his own definition, not religious but secular, and very involved in advocacy for Israel in the nations.
We discussed a range of topics, including Brexit, and the terrible anti-Semitism in the UK, with particular reference to Jeremy Corbyn (the leader of the British Labour Party and leader of the opposition), who is clearly anti-Israel and allows rampant anti-Semitism in his political party with complete impunity, it seems.
As the three of us spoke together, I felt free to declare that I approach these issues from a Messianic Jewish perspective and that I am in the leadership team of a congregation of Jews and Arabs in Israel who worship Yeshua together.
The secular Jewish man immediately said without any animosity, “Jews for Jesus?” I responded by saying we do share beliefs with them if not some of their methods, but we are a worshiping community on Mount Carmel.
The Orthodox Jewish man showed no animosity either, and we continued to speak together very pleasantly finding much common ground.
I shared how many believers of Yeshua in the nations love Israel and are praying for the Jewish people. I highlighted prayer altars in nations such as Malaysia (a Muslim majority country) and Kenya who pray specifically for Israel’s salvation and security. They were amazed and encouraged.
A welcome shift in attitude to Jewish believers
Indeed, at the end of the flight, we all shook hands, and the secular Jew said “kol ha kavod” (“all respect”) to me, the follower of Yeshua.
This was a radical change from the many other potential Jewish responses to a Messianic Jewish believer like myself, which could range from disdain to outright anger and great offence. I could have been perceived as a traitor to my own Jewish people.
When Christians and Messianic believers around the world frequently ask me “How can we pray for Israel?”, two of my key answers are:
“Pray for the salvation of the Jewish people, so that they would come to the revelation of who their Messiah is”, and “Pray that Jewish hearts in Israel and around the world would be ‘softened’ towards Yeshua and the gospel.”
And in my very Jewish conversation with these two other sons of Israel, I saw that their hearts had clearly been ‘softened’ as a result, I believe, of the prayers and intercession being made by believers around the world.
I want to encourage all of us to keep on praying for the salvation of Israel and the Jewish people, and for the hearts of Jewish people everywhere to be softened towards Yeshua, His followers, and the gospel.
This will hasten the day when the words of the Apostle Paul from Romans 11:26, “All Israel will be saved”, will be fulfilled.
From the blog, “Delight in Zion”
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We are an Israeli ministry composed of Jewish & Arab followers of Yeshua (Jesus) who are all about blessing Israel through sharing the gospel online, educating the new generation of born-again believers through our one and only Hebrew-speaking Bible College in Israel, and helping holocaust survivors by supplying humanitarian aid.