Witnessing to Jews

When witnessing to Jewish people, I’ll go over the moral Law and speak of the holiness, righteousness and justice (and judgment) of God as well as the mercy and salvation of God, all from Old Testament passages. I’ll share some Messianic passages in the Old Testament, especially from Psalms and Isaiah. I just share the passages and ask the person to consider Who the passage is really talking about. I’ll go ahead and tell them that Yeshua is the One who has fulfilled all these prophecies. Aside from proclaiming God’s Word, I think that love, compassion and prayer for God’s mercy is most important.

Here is some instruction from John Piper on witnessing to Jewish people.

You could also read parts of their scriptures that talk about the need for forgiveness and the fact that a Messiah is coming who will bear the sins of his people, and see if they would be open to that interpretation. Then talk about the gospel in relationship to those prophesies.

Stress over and over again that when we meet God he is going to be absolutely righteous and absolutely just, and our good deeds will never suffice to save us from judgment: “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).

Then ask them, “What is that forgiveness based on? Why would there have been a whole series of animal sacrifices if no sacrifice were necessary for the forgiveness of sins. And if sacrifice is necessary for the forgiveness of sins, whose sacrifice can cover all of my sins?”

Answer: “Christ bore our sins in his body on the cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).

So just tell the story over and over again, as often as they’ll listen.

Should you stop sharing the Scriptures if it offends them?

Absolutely not. If they say, “Be quiet and don’t talk to me anymore,” then you should probably stop talking to them. But if they are just offended then you should keep on seeking to speak with them in a way that would be least offensive. You would not do that by changing the content of your message but by having a demeanor that communicates as much love as possible.

Some people think that we don’t need to evangelize Jews because they will still be saved by the old covenant. Is that true?

No. The notion that we don’t need to evangelize Jews because there remain two distinct covenants—a Jewish covenant and a Christian covenant—is simply unbiblical. The New Testament pictures the old covenant as coming to its climax and consummation in Jesus Christ.

Read the whole interview here at Desiring God.

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13 thoughts on “Witnessing to Jews

  1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1

    And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. – John 1:14

    The Word of G-d is the Bible, yes? Old Testament and New testament, yes? Yeshua (Jesus) is the Word of G-d made flesh. Therefore the Bible and Yeshua are One and the Same. Yes? This means that the Jews, who fully believe and follow the Tanakh (Old Testament) are following the Word of G-d (aka – Yeshua).

    As for there being two different covenants, Yeshua said something much, much different:

    “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. – Matthew 5:17-18

    As heaven and earth have not passed, then Torah (incorrectly translated: “the law” in most English translations) is still in full effect. As for those who teach otherwise:

    So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot [commandments] and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. – Matthew 5:19

    Yeshua also said: “…I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.- John 14:6.

    Again, Yeshua = Bible. The Jews do indeed follow the Bible. Here’s a challange for you: Find something “new” in the “New Testament”. I.E. – Find something in the “New Testament” that does not exist in the “Old Testament”. You won’t find a single thing new. The B’rit Chadashah (which does not mean “New Testament” but rather “Renewed Covenant”) is 1) a historical record of prophecy come to fruition (such as the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Messiah), 2) a retelling and renewal of the original covenant, and 3) letters to some specific synagogs and/or churches from the talmidim (disciples) of Yeshua.

    While it is a good thing when a Jew (like myself) comes to realize that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah prophecied in the Bible (as I have), it is not necessary for the Jews to convert to Chrstianity. I am a Jew who lives our Torah and who believes that Yeshua is Ha’Massiach.

    Although, to be more accurate, I am not Jewish. Neither am I a Gentile. I am Ivri, that is to say, Crossed-Over. The word Ivri is the Hebrew word for, well, “Hebrew”. Ivri = Hebrew = Crossed Over.

    “there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor freeman, neither male nor female; for in union with the Messiah Yeshua, you are all one.” – Galatians 3:28

    Those who claim that there are two different covenants are ignoring the words of Yeshua. Be very, very careful of what you claim the Word of G-d says. Investigate for yourself. Do not teach from the teachings of others, teach only from Scripture.

  2. Jason, if a person follows the old covenant only (Torah), it is insufficient to provide salvation and a relationship with God, since it is incomplete. The new covenant is the completion and fulfillment of the old covenant. Yeshua ,who is the Word made flesh, (John 1:1 & 14) is the fulfillment of the old covenant. The new covenant which He instituted, is in HIS blood.

    Therefore, any person, Jew or non, must come to God by faith, through the blood of Yeshua, trusting in Yeshua; 1.) in Who He is (YHWH in the flesh), and, 2.) in what He did (being the sacrifice for our sins, satisfying God’s justice against our sin, on our behalf.)

    Yeshua said, “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” John 8:24.

  3. Very good, Loretta. Yet you completely ignored the facts that 1) Yeshua said, “If you love me, obey my mitzvot (commandments)”, 2) Yeshua said, “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete.”, and 3) that Yeshua and the talmidim keep Torah their entire lives.

    Completing Torah does not mean that Torah is no longer required. When you complete a report or project for work do you not need to turn that report or project in? Of course you do. And the same is true of Torah. Yeshua completed it, he didn’t nullify it.

    I agree completely that obeying Torah cannot provide salvation. Neither can ignoring Torah. Torah without Yeshua is legalism. Yeshua without Torah is false teaching. It takes both. Belief and trust come first. Obedience come next.

    Look at Avram. G-d said to Avram, “I will be your G-d and you will be my people”. Avram believed G-d, and THEN obeyed Him. Whereapon G-d renamed him to Avraham.

    Look at Yitzhak (Issac). G-d said, “I will be your G-d and you will be my people”. Yitzhak believed G-d, and THEN obeyed Him.

    And how about Ya’akov? G-d said, “I will be your G-d and you will be my people”. Ya’akov believed G-d, and THEN obeyed Him.

    As for Jews already following the Word of G-d, if you don’t realize that, then either you must not believe John when He said that Yeshua is the Word Made Flash, or you must not believe that the Bible is the Word of G-d. It’s a simple excersize in logic. If the Bible is the Word of G-d, and Yeshua is the Word (of G-d) Made Flesh, then the Bible (that would mean ALL of it, not just the “New” Testament) and Yeshua are the same thing.

    Also, I issued a challange for you (or anyone else) earlier. Can you answer it?

  4. Jason, I honestly have no idea why you are arguing with me or what your actual point is.

    Yes Yeshua said “if you love Me you will obey commandments.” yes He came to fulfill. Yes Yeshua and His disciples followed the Bible. I never said the Torah is no longer required. What is your point? Yes faith and obedience are both comanded.

    quote:
    “As for Jews already following the Word of G-d, if you don’t realize that, then either you must not believe John when He said that Yeshua is the Word Made Flash, or you must not believe that the Bible is the Word of G-d. It’s a simple excersize in logic. If the Bible is the Word of G-d, and Yeshua is the Word (of G-d) Made Flesh, then the Bible (that would mean ALL of it, not just the “New” Testament) and Yeshua are the same thing.”

    What in the world are you saying? I am trying to wrap my mind around this. I am not dissing or ignoring the Torah. I love it! God brought me to repentance reading Isaiah 53. Yes, Yeshua is the word made flesh. Yes the Bible is the word of God, all of it.

    Before Yeshua came, God promised Him. Before Yeshua came, those who had faith, put their trust in God for salvation. They looked forward to Him. They believed God for forgiveness, salvation and righteousness. Then later, at the right time, God sent forth His Son. Yeshua was sacrificed as an offering, to intercede for us, to take our shame, bear our sins, transgressions, iniquities, and thus made us justified and He also gave us His righteousness.

    Yeshua has now come into the world. He died, was raised again, and ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God. Now we look back to that point in time, when He did these things to purchase us with His blood. He has come into the world and now we must believe in HIM, Yeshua.

    If you are saying that since the word of God (the Torah) is Yeshua, then people who follow the Torah ONLY, are right with God, you are mistaken.

    The purpose of this blog is to encourage the children of God, and to help equip for the work of bringing the gospel to people who are lost in sin without Yeshua. I don’t have time to debate and this is not a theology debate blog. Everyone needs Messiah. I’ll let others consider the challenge. No offense, I just have a lot of work to do and I want to stay focused on witnessing encouragement. Thanks!

    “And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. ” 1 John 4:14

    “The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son.” 1 John 5:10.

  5. Hello,
    My name is Anders Branderud and I am from Sweden and I found your blog.

    The most important thing in my life is Judaism. I have practised Orthodox Judaism through Netzarim (www.netzarim.co.il) in Ra’anana in Israel (led by the Orthodox Jew Paqid Yirmeyahu ha-Tzadiq), who are followers of Ribi Yehoshua (the Messiah) since 2007-05. Before that I was a devoted Christian for 6 years.

    You write: “Stress over and over again that when we meet God he is going to be absolutely righteous and absolutely just, and our good deeds will never suffice to save us from judgment: “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).”

    My reply:
    le-havdil,

    To follow the historical Yeshua — that is Ribi Yehoshua – one must discern what he taught.
    The central tenet of Judaism is expressed in the Shema, where Tanakh [the Jewish Bible] states that one is required to do his or her utmost to keep Torah (which includes Halakhah [(oral Torah; see “Mishpat” and “Halakhah” at Glossaries in the first page at the above website]. as defined by the beit din [Jewish court; instituted by Moses; in an unbroken chain since Moses] in the legitimate Jewish community of Israel) and that only those who DO (not merely believe) this qualify for kipur [atonement] and resulting portion in olam ha-ba [“heaven”]. The Torah IS the expression–and THE expression taught by Ribi Yehoshua–of how to treat both the Almighty and one’s neighbor with love. The NT, by contrast, is a post-135 C.E. Roman-Hellenist displacement counterfeit–and faith in a counterfeit Christ cannot provide “salvation.” Ribi Yehoshua taught that in accordance with Torah; that the only way to come to ha-olam haba (“heaven”) is to do one’s utmost to practise Torah!

    The gospel is anti-Torah. The teachings of Ribi Yehoshua are pro-Torah. There is no requirement in Torah that a person shall believe that Ribi Yehoshua is the Mashiakh (the Messiah) to get atonement. It is forbidden according to Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13 to add and remove mitzwot (commandments) from Torah.

    So why not start following Ribi Yehoshua? To follow him by practising the mitzwot (commandments) in Torah gives true meaning of life!!

    From Anders Branderud

  6. hello Anders, I am so glad you came by here. I have met others who believe as you do, and I am happy to talk about it with you.

    Have you kept the Law, then? Have you loved the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul? Have you loved your neighbor as you love yourself? Have you fashioned a “God” to suit yourself, one that works for you? Have you worshiped something other than God, such as your intellect, education, knowledge, or the good and religious things you do, such as practicing the commandments? Have you hated or despised anyone? This is murder in your heart. Have you lusted sinfully? This is adultery in your heart. God sees your heart. Then there are all the other commandments. How do you fare in keeping them all?

    God’s law demonstrates His Righteousness and Holiness, and extremely high standard.
    In making your religion the keeping of the Law, this gives you opportunity to boast in your law keeping and your impressing God with your righteousness. This is pride. God is against the proud but rescues the humble. You must humble yourself to trust Him, rather than yourself to make yourself acceptable to God.

    You cannot keep the Law. You are unable to achieve His standard. The Law declares and demonstrates this to you. You need atonement. Was this not what God was illustrating in the temple/sacrifice system? What happened with God and Abraham? Abram entered into a covenant with God. On God’s terms. The terms were based on shed blood, as you know. It is a blood covenant. God entered into a blood covenant relationship with Abram. God proposed, and Abram accepted. God promised and Abram believed. God would fulfill the covenant. Abram trusted in God.

    God provided for the blood and Abram was called to faith. All who have faith in the Lord God and His covenant of blood, are children of Abraham.

    The Torah is full of scripture where He is telling of His provision for atonement that He will provide Himself. David trusts in this atonement, admitting His sin against God; his failure to keep God’s Law, and expressing faith in God’s provision of righteousness, for him. Yeshua is God’s provision for this blood atonement; this blood covenant that He makes with us, and we enter in by faith in Him.

    No the gospel is not anti-Torah; it is anti self-righteousness, anti traditions & doctrines of men and anti works-righteousness.

    You mention counterfeit Christs. I ask you respectfully, which of us has the false messiah, and which has the true? Yours demands you try real hard to perfectly keep the Law, thus relying on your own righteousness. Mine has fulfilled the Law (yes, He upholds the Law!) and has provided Himself, the blood required for the sacrifice of atonement for my sin. He has provided the righteousness of God.

    I have no righteousness of my own; my faith is in Him. Yeshua the Messiah, the Anointed One, the sacrifice Lamb who was slain; who was also raised from the dead, sits at the right hand of GOD, just like He told Caiaphas. He is all my righteousness. Righteousness from God comes through faith in Yeshua the Messiah, for all who believe.

    Loretta

  7. Also, I would not worry that the NT is Romanist-Hellenist. Yes, it was all written in Greek, but that does not mean that written was Romanist-Hellenist philosophy. Certainly not. Like the rest of the scriptures, it is God speaking through men. Of course as you know, all the first disciples of Yeshua were Jewish and He spoke Aramaic. He came unto His own, then He sent them to both Jews and Gentiles. The entire NT was written by Jews except for Luke (as far as I understand). This writing of the NT in Greek was part of God’s plan that His salvation–through acknowledging sin (repentance) and faith in HIM and what HE did— would be declared and published in the whole world. He plans, and WILL have people in His Kingdom (through faith in Messiah) out of every nation, tongue, and tribe (like me, an American of German/Swedish/English/Scottish descent). I was just like a “dog”, under the table, picking up crumbs that fell, until Yeshua picked me up off the floor, washed me, sat me at His table with Him and served me, that we may eat and drink together. What did He give? Bread of Life and Living water. His blood of the covenant which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. His body which was given for us. His very life and self. Now I am not a dog; I am His friend. He is a kind, gracious, merciful, giving and loving Savior indeed.

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