Jews being persecuted. Nothing new…right? They’ve been persecuted throughout history and, in various ways and to some degree, they continue to be persecuted today. But what if I told you persecution was coming from other Jews. Would that sadden you? It happens to be true…and it saddens me too.
In Israel, while there is freedom of religion, it is not a popular thing for Jews to believe in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. It is viewed as heresy, particularly among Orthodox Jews, and definitely frowned upon. Furthermore, Jews or non-Jews who proselytize often find themselves in hot water among Orthodox and Ultra-orthodox Jewish leaders. (Read more about that here.)
However, One for Israel is a ministry made up of Israeli Jewish believers in Yeshua who are called to take the message of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) to their own people. Boy, does that have the rabbis in a tizzy!
I realize there is much debate in Christian circles about whether or not Christians should attempt to evangelize Jews. Frankly, I’m not of the stripe to stand on the street corners of Jerusalem preaching fire and brimstone. But, I do believe there are those called specifically by God to reach out (appropriately) to the Jewish people with the message of salvation in Yeshua. I also believe we cannot ignore the admonition of Romans 11:14 to move (or “provoke,” in some translations) the Jews to jealousy for their Messiah. That means that our lives should “preach the message of Messiah,” and we may use words if necessary.
But here’s the deal. Eitan Bar, one of the founders of One for Israel, is literally being attacked by the rabbis. I’ll let him tell his story…
Let’s pray for Eitan, his family, and the other staff members at One for Israel. Pray for their protection, for boldness to minister as the Lord leads, and for many to come to salvation in Yeshua. Pray, also, for the rabbis…that somehow their eyes will be opened, just as Saul’s eyes were opened when he persecuted Christians. When the Lord finally got Saul’s attention, his life was dramatically changed, and the Lord used him to write almost half of the New Testament (as Paul, the apostle). Perhaps the Lord has a mission for these Christian persecutors as well! Pray, my friends!