First Things First

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication

Zechariah 12:10a

First Things

Why God chose to re-introduce me, a backslidden Protestant, to his Son Jesus at a Catholic women’s renewal was often a mystery to me. In retrospect, I wonder if it had anything to do with the Church’s policy not to proselytize Jews. Nevertheless, not sharing the good news about Jesus with anyone was daunting for me. As I began moving into Jewish/Christian relations, I was impressed in my spirit not to evangelize—this call not to evangelize weighed heavily on me. One day, I knelt beside my bed and began pouring out my heart to God with many tears that friends and acquaintances thought I was a bad Christian because I didn’t evangelize the Jewish people with whom I connected. Suddenly, I heard such a loud response that I rocked back on my knees in amazement. God’s answer was crystal clear:

"Nancy, stop weeping.  
I am well able to introduce My people, the Jews, to my Son! 
I want you to love My people, comfort them, and enjoy My scriptures with them."

This encounter with God reminded me of how the Lord chose to introduce me to His Son. It was not at all what evangelicals or Protestants would expect. Heavens, it wasn’t what Catholics expected. It was a mystery to me, but with faith in the One who heard my plea for help, I accepted. I learned how to agree to disagree as a Christian with Jews so we could move forward together. Initially, I thought this was the first thing God taught me – about Jewish/Christian relations.

Laugh Outloud

Early in this work on Jewish/Christian relations, I connected with Avi Lipkin. Back then, while in the United States Avi, a former spokesperson for Israel’s IDF (military), was promoting a book he wrote on the Jewish /Arab conflict. I interviewed Avi for radio; he stayed at our home in Ohio. Somewhere along the line, Avi told me his favorite joke. One he often shared with Christian audiences to explain Israeli views on Jesus now that millions of Christians have poured into Israel visiting the holy sites on pilgrimages since Israel became a nation in 1948. It goes like this:

One day, the Chief of Operations at Ben-Gurion airport received a phone call telling him the Messiah is arriving on Mt. Olive in about an hour or so.  The Chief is to tidy himself up and get over there to greet Him officially and ask a question.  The Chief jumped up and found a tie to put on and combed his hair.  (Israelis dress very casually for work.)  Commandeered a car and got on the highway from Tel Aviv to race to Jerusalem.  They arrived at Mt. Olive, and the Chief waited nervously for Messiah's arrival.  Finally, a helicopter arrived, steps pulled to the door, and a carpet rolled out for Messiah.  The Chief straightened his tie got out of the car and approached Messiah.  Once Messiah's feet hit the carpet, the Chief bowed and said, Excuse me, Sir, but is this Your first or second visit to Israel?

A Jewish Friend

I was reminded of this joke while listening to a podcast from One for Israel this morning. They offer a class via Zoom about Christian Hebrew roots in the Gospels. The interview is with Dr. Seth Postell. Listening to Dr. Postell share a bit of his personal journey made me chuckle. Hearing him share his experience in a church in North Carolina made me laugh out loud! One for Israel is an exciting Israeli ministry initiated by Jewish believers in Jesus-Yeshua as their Messiah now. Here is Dr. Postell:

One for Israel podcast for YouTube

First Things First

Dr. Postell shares great insights into understanding the Scriptures from a Hebraic perspective; I could expound on several of them! However, the Scripture he shared from Matthew 1:1 – “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham…” – after telling about his experience in the church in North Carolina, removes a veil from many Christian eyes about Jesus’ Jewish heritage. His story and teaching reminded me that the first thing God made clear after my born-again experience is that His only Son is Jewish.

Before receiving the vision that launched the work of Haverim, I received a phone call requesting that I invite a Jewish lady to my house for coffee and conversation. She had recently accepted Jesus as her Messiah and needed to talk with someone who might understand her situation in the local Jewish community. I agreed. Soon this dear lady was sitting across from me at our kitchen with cups of coffee. Sharing my story and love for Jesus with her, including passages from Romans that speak of Jews and Gentiles, I noticed her eyes filled with tears as she glanced over my shoulder because I kept handing her napkins to wipe away the tears. I asked if something troubled her. She reached out to touch my hand and said, “Oh no! It’s just every time I look over your shoulder at the cross with Jesus hanging there on your wall; I can’t stop crying.” I turned around to see a lovely crucifix a Protestant friend had given me because it was too Catholic. Her tears turned to joy when I told her that her weeping was surely a sign she was part of the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Zechariah 12:10:

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. - Zechariah 12:10

Todah! Thank you for stopping by today! May God bless you always.

Blessed be the Holy One of Israel,

Nan Montgomery

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