What Do You Say to Your Jewish Friends about Jesus? - page 3


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From the Fall 2015 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

What Do You Say to Your Jewish Friends about Jesus?

by Randy Newman, Ph.D.
Senior Teaching Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism, C.S. Lewis Institute


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Do admit that your conversation may be uncomfortable. Identify the elephant in the room by acknowledging the awkwardness of talking about Jesus. But don’t back down from this. Instead, pave the way for a conversation about Jesus with a conversation about the conversation. Here are a few ways you could do this:

“I realize this might be an uncomfortable conversation. But I wonder if you’d be willing to dig into this even if it’s a bit difficult.” “I’m aware that most people in our world try to avoid the topic of religion. I hope the depth of our friendship can handle it.” “Would you be willing to talk about our two faiths? I’d like to learn more about Judaism because it’s so tightly linked to my faith as a believer in Jesus.” “I’m guessing this might be difficult, but are you willing to explore these issues even if they’re not popular or easy to believe?” “I know that the history of Jewish-Christian dialogue has been a mess. I’d still like to talk about God and see if we can avoid some of the pitfalls. What do you think?”

  Do use the Bible. In particular, show how Jesus fulfilled messianic prophecy. But this may not be as simple as you might think. While there is great benefit from seeing parallel lists of “predictions” and “fulfillments,” the nature of Old Testament prophecy is fuller than many Christians realize. And that’s a good thing! In fact, a personal study of Old Testament prophecy can deepen your confidence in the Scriptures in powerful ways. Then, from that deep well, you’ll be able to show your Jewish friends how Judaism and Christianity fit together, how events in the Tanakh pointed the way to a savior, and how our deepest longings can be met through the One who delivered answers to age-old questions, resolving age-old tensions.


  Jesus was Jewish, and most of His first followers saw their faith in Messiah as the logical culmination of their trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But the devil has done a masterful job of obscuring the connections between the old and the new, the promised and the fulfilled, and the foreshadowed and the delivered. God can use you to help your Jewish friends find what their Jewishness points to, and He will deepen your appreciation of your faith along the way. Some of your Jewish friends will thank you for sharing the good news. And you’ll have a very long time to rejoice together about the One at the center of those conversations. 



Randy Newman is Senior Fellow for Evangelism and Apologetics at C.S. Lewis Institute. He is also an adjunct faculty member for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Patrick Henry College. He received his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. After serving for over 30 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, he established Connection Points, a ministry to help Christians engage people’s hearts the way Jesus did. He has written three books and numerous articles about evangelism and other ways our lives intertwine with God’s creation. He and his wife Pam live in Annandale, VA and have three grown sons. Randy blogs at www.connectionpoints.us.


Recommended Reading:
Ceil Rosen and Moishe Rosen, Witnessing to Jews: Practical Ways to Relate the Love of Jesus (Purple Pomegranate, 1998)

Jews for Jesus founder, Moishe Rosen, and his wife, Ceil, have written a guide for Christians who want to share the love of Jesus with their Jewish friends.



COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  Knowing & Doing is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.
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