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Pointers on Witnessing to Jews

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Introduction

If you're reading this page, you're probably interested in sharing your faith in Y'shua (Jesus) with Jewish people! Maybe you have a Jewish neighbor…or friend, or classmate, or even a Jewish relative. Or maybe you just want to be prepared for the next time you meet a Jewish person. Here are some things you should know that will help you be a more effective witness.

Basics

Everybody needs to hear the gospel. And God's chosen people (the Jews) are certainly no exception. Y'shua came in fulfillment of the writings of Jewish prophets who were writing to Jewish people. So, if Jews don't need Jesus, no one does! Yes, Jews and Gentiles both need salvation in Jesus and you don't have to be Jewish to have an effective witness to Jewish people.

Jewish Identity and Belief

Virtually all Jews are proud of their identity as Jews, but this does not in itself make a statement about what they believe about God. Even religious Jews may have varying beliefs about God. It is more important to find out what your friend believes about God and the Bible than to find out what kind of synagogue they attend. For many Jews, their Jewish identity is more cultural than it is religious. But this doesn't mean that their Jewishness is unimportant to them. Most Jews also think that the opposite of Jewish is Christian and so for them to consider Jesus is problematic because it means considering losing their Jewish identity. Therefore in witnessing to Jewish people about Jesus it is important to stress that they do not need to give up their identity as Jews in order to embrace Jesus as Messiah.

Myths and Facts

There are several popular myths which keep people from sharing with their Jewish friends. Some of them include:

Myth: All Jews are well versed in the Old Testament.
Fact: Most Jews have a strong cultural identity with a very limited knowledge of the Scriptures.

Myth: I can just invite my Jewish friend to my church.
Fact: Many Jewish people might be hesitant to attend church. There is no substitute for you personally sharing your faith.

Myth: I may not be able to answer their questions.
Fact: That's true. But it does not change the truth of the gospel. Tell your friend you are happy to research the information. This gives you an opportunity to have further witnessing opportunities too.

Myth: I need to wait for the Holy Spirit's leading. I don't want to lose my friendship.
Fact: God has already told us we are to be his witnesses. (Mt.28:19-20) If you are friendly and forthright you will gain your friends respect for genuinely caring even if they don't agree to discuss the matter at length.

Myth: I will let my life be a testimony and wait until they ask me about Jesus.
Fact: That will likely be a long wait. Most Jewish people feel that religion is a private matter and might be uncomfortable asking. Besides, the great commission commands us to go tell!

Practical Tips

When witnessing to a Jewish person, remember:

Make friends. Demonstrate that you really care about the person. Affirm the fact that you know they are Jewish and that you appreciate their Jewishness. Let your friendship serve as the foundation for your witness to them.

Be up front. Declare yourself a follower of Jesus right away. You do not want to appear deceptive or coercive. Be yourself.

Ask questions. Everyone likes to be asked their opinion. This can be a good way to steer the conversation towards spiritual matters. Questions about Israel, an upcoming Jewish holiday or even a Bible question from the Old Testament are a good place to start.

Give a personal testimony. The reality of God in your life is a powerful witness. Many Jewish people think that you were born a Christian in the same way that they were born Jewish. Hearing how you became a follower of Jesus, how God answers your prayers can provoke your Jewish friend to jealousy. (Rom.11:11)

Use Scripture. Don't be afraid to answer questions with a verse from the Bible. Encourage your Jewish friend to read the New Testament. Most Jewish people have never read the New Testament and most Jews who have come to faith in Christ came as a result of reading the New Testament. After all, it is a very Jewish book!

Be prayerfully persistent. Don't be put off if you receive a negative reaction at first. In Fact, you should expect it. Keep looking for opportunities. Keep praying. Seek to introduce your friend to a Jewish believer or to one of us in Jews for Jesus. Lend books or other evangelistic literature.

Ask for a decision and follow up. Don't think that your Jewish friend will automatically understand they need to pray to receive Christ. If they are a willing listener then you should ask if they are willing to receive what you have said for themselves. Be diligent to follow up any decision. Contact Jews for Jesus for help with the new Jewish believer.

Important Messianic Passages

Topic Old Testament New Testament
Messiah to be the seed of the Woman Genesis 3:15 Galatians 4:4
Messiah to be the seed of Abraham Genesis 12:3; 18:18 Luke 3:23,34
Matthew 1:1-2
Acts 3:25
Galatians 3:16
Messiah to be of the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10 Luke 3:33
Matthew 1:1-2
Messiah to be of the seed of Jacob Numbers 24:17, 19 Matthew 1:1-2
Luke 3:34
Messiah to be of the seed of David Psalm 132:11
Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15
Isaiah 11:10
Matthew 1:6
Luke 1:32-33
Acts 2:29-30
Romans 1:3
Messiah to be a prophet like Moses Deut. 18:15, 19 Matthew 21:11
John 6:14
John 1:45
Acts 3:22-23
Messiah to be the Son of God Psalm 2:7
Proverbs 30:4
Luke 1:32
Matthew 3:17
Messiah to be raised from the dead Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:35-37
Messiah to experience crucifixion Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 69:21
Matthew 27:34-50
John 19:28-30
Messiah to be betrayed by a friend Psalm 41:9 John 13:18, 21
Messiah to ascend to heaven Psalm 68:18 Luke 24:51
Acts 1:9
Homage and tribute paid to Messiah by great kings Psalm 72:10-11 Matthew 2:1-11
Messiah to be a priest like Melchizedek Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:5-6
Messiah to be at the right hand of God Psalm 110:1 Matthew 26:64
Hebrews 1:3
Messiah, the stone which the builders rejected, to become the head cornerstone Psalm 118:22-23
Isaiah 8:14-15
Isaiah 28:16
Matthew 21:42-43
Acts 4:11
Romans 9:32-33
Ephesians 2:20
1 Peter 2:6-8
Messiah to be born of a virgin Isaiah Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18-25
Luke 1:26-35
Galilee to be the first area of Messiah's ministry Isaiah 9:1-8 Matthew 4:12-16
Messiah will be meek and mild Isaiah 42:2-3
Isaiah 53:7
Matthew 12:18-20
Matthew 26:62-63
Messiah will minister to the Gentiles Isaiah 42:1
Isaiah 49:1-8
Matthew 12:21
Messiah will be smitten Isaiah 50:6 Matthew 26:67
Matthew 27:26, 30
Messiah to suffer, die and rise again Isaiah 52:13-53:12 The four gospels
The new and everlasting Covenant Isaiah 55:3-4
Jeremiah 31:31-33
Matthew 26:28
Mark 14:24
Luke 22:20
Hebrews 8:6-13
Messiah as the right arm of God Isaiah 59:16
Isaiah 53:1
John 12:38
Messiah as intercessor Isaiah 59:16 Hebrews 9:15
Twofold mission of the Messiah Isaiah 61:1-11 Luke 4:16-21
Messiah will perform miracles Isaiah 35:5-6 John 11:47
Matthew 11:3-6
Messiah is called "The Lord" Jeremiah 23:5-6 Acts 2:36
The time of Messiah's coming prophesied Daniel 9:24-26 Galatians 4:4
Ephesians 1:10
Bethlehem to be the place of Messiah's birth Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1
Luke 2:4-6
Messiah will enter the Temple with authority Malachi 3:1 Matthew 21:12
Messiah will enter Jerusalem on a donkey Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:1-10
Messiah will be pierced Zechariah 12:10
Psalm 22:16
John 19:34, 37
Messiah to be forsaken by his disciples Zechariah 13:7 Matthew 26:31, 56
The coming of the Holy Spirit in the days of the Messiah Joel 2:28-29 Acts 2:16-18
Opposition of the nations; Messiah's final victory over death Psalm 2:2
Isaiah 25:8
Revelation 19:19
1 Corinthians 15:54
Revelation 7:17; 21:4
The glorious Messiah; Messiah as King Isaiah 63:1
Psalm 2:6-9
Revelation 19:11-16
Revelation 19:15-16
Submission of all nations to Messiah's rule Isaiah 2:4
Micah 4:1-4
Revelation 12:5
The Gentiles shall seek the Messiah of Israel Isaiah 11:10 Romans 11:25

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+4 # Kate 2012-12-29 10:44
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." Matthew 11:25
Jesus mentioned two kinds of people in his prayer: the "wise" - arrogant in their own knowledge, and the "little children" - humbly open to receive the truth of God's Word. God is the creator of all things, including science. If you must, then just wait and see. I recommend faith in God and His Son, Jesus, however. If you claim to be open minded, then I recommend "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. God Bless!
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-1 # Jared Larner 2013-02-17 09:24
That is a good book. I read 2/3 of it
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-1 # Suzy 2014-03-02 18:33
Have you finished it yet?
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-19 # Min 2012-08-27 05:10
So much misinformation here, both about Jews and about the Bible. You should be ashamed of yourself.
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+12 # Rich Robinson 2012-09-13 16:43
So what is one piece of this misinformation?
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0 # David 2012-10-26 12:44
A number of years ago, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book entitled Science Speaks. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one man in all of history fulfilling even only eight of the 60 major prophecies (and 270 ramifications) fulfilled by the life of Christ.

The probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 1017. That's 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.

Stoner claims that that many silver dollars would be enough to cover the face of the entire state of Texas two feet deep. Now I've been to Texas. I've driven for days to get across Texas. Texas is a very big state. Who in his right mind would suppose that a blindfolded man, heading out of Dallas by foot in any direction, would be able, on his very first attempt, to pick up one specifically marked silver dollar out of 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000?
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+1 # Emily 2013-02-02 08:06
The prophecy that the Messiah would be born of a woman? Ummm, there is a 100% chance of that! However, Jesus did not fulfill the single definitive messianic prophecy--world peace! Instead, his followers claim he will do it someday in the future. Another could claim that. LOL!
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+4 # Michael 2013-02-19 16:03
[quote name="Emily"]The prophecy that the Messiah would be born of a woman? Ummm, there is a 100% chance of that!

Emily: I hope you're still checking this, because the key thing you've missed is the word 'seed'... The seed is from the man, not the woman yet, in this instance, it is used in connection with woman, which is the very first intimation - and further validation (in light of subsequent revelation such as Isaiah 7:14/Yesha 'Yahu 7:14) - of a miraculous (virgin) birth... And yes, I realize that the word used (almah) can mean 'young woman', but it can and does also mean 'virgin'... And it wouldn't be much of a sign if a 'young woman' got pregnant and gave birth to a son she then named Immanu El, would it? I'd suggest that we should give G-d more credit than that, and I'm sure you agree.
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+4 # Michael 2013-02-19 16:11
[quote name="Emily"] However, Jesus did not fulfill the single definitive messianic prophecy--world peace!

Please don't be so quick to judge the import of Scripture, Emily... All around us we see evidence of how something starts at a point where it is not 'apparent', and then progressively manifests itself to the point where it becomes overwhelmingly so... For example, consider 'birth'; at the moment of conception, no one but a physician with a microscope could detect the fertilization of the egg cell, but it is a reality nonetheless. Or consider the 'victory' of World War II; when did the Allied forces actually defeat Germany? I submit to you that they were actually defeated long before they were finally crushed into submission. Jesus laid the indispensable groundwork for reconciliation of mankind to G-d - and that, ultimately, is the only path to 'peace' of any value.
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0 # Mark 2013-02-24 19:59
The seed of a woman dosent mean He will just be born of a woman like any other baby, but that He will be born of just a woman, ie; her seed only concerning humanity. No male involved! God being the Father. Born of a virgin, not just a woman!
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+2 # dan 2012-12-23 16:21
Seem Min does not have the answers to why .Because there no misinformation.The truth is offense to those who are perishing .
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-4 # Emily 2013-02-02 08:04
I know. Half of those verses they quoted do not even refer to the Messiah. If they have to lie to Jews to prove their point, maybe they are wrong? Who is the Father of Lies? Not God, that is for sure.
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+1 # Jared Larner 2013-02-17 09:23
Emily and Min... God loves you and one day you will meet Him. Try not to persecute those who love Jesus, because until now You have rejected the love God is offering you through Jesus.
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-1 # David 2014-05-24 18:25
Emily, I am a Jew that converted to Christianity. I have found studying the scriptures valuable. It seems that you also have some knowledge of these scriptures. Perhaps if you could be more explicit in which verses you refer to, the other knowledgeable people here could offer their Christian perspective. I have found that keeping an open mind and listening to the other side, even when you disagree is more productive than the alternative.
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-1 # Suzy 2014-05-26 13:36
Hi David
Just wanted to give thanks for the way you bring glory to God -your comment popped up in my email -hence my seeming 'intrusion' !
Every blessing - Suzy
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0 # brenda 2013-07-14 18:46
be a good witness to jewish people and yourself when it comes to Yeshua
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+26 # Nathan Siegal 2012-01-24 19:11
This is exactly why I came to Jesus or Yeshua as my Messiah and Lord and Savior. I accepted Jesus Christ or Yeshua Hamoshiach about 2 years ago and my life hasn't always been easy around Jewish family members since then but my life is better the ever before. I had a few Christian friends who answered my questions and showed me the prophecies in the Old Testament about Yeshua as G-d and a part of G-d that is the key to our salvation. After reading all the prophecies in the old testament, it became obvious I couldn't deny my G-d anymore. For my Jewish friends I know how becoming a believer in Yeshua doesn't make sense to them but it should and it will if my Jewish friends and family do what I did and listen to Christian friends. So many in the church today are afraid to witness to the Jewish people and that's a shame because that's the most Anti-Semetic thing you can do. I used to think being a reform Jew made me alright with G-d but I wasn't.
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-1 # Suzy 2014-05-26 13:37
Thank you Nathan.
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0 # Shlomo 2014-07-18 14:20
It is very clear that you ignorant christians are so blind and mislead. You quote the most random, irrelevant, mistranslated, and out of context verses just to try and prove your point. You start with the presumption that jesus must be the messiah, so instead of investigating the Torah objectively you instead must pull random verses and mold them to fit your faulty logic.
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+2 # Ruth Rosen 2014-07-18 15:05
That's an interesting generalization. In my experience there is a huge commitment to the position that Jewish people can't believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and traditional arguments and commentaries are built to support that disbelief. Before you or anyone else can know whether or not Jesus is the Messiah, you have to ask yourself whether you could handle the consequences of discovering that Jesus is the Messiah. Name calling and ascribing motives to those who believe differently than you indicates that you aren't ready to ask and answer that question. Unless or until you can, you can't discover anything that contradicts your point of view. If you are right, then you don't have a problem. But if you are wrong, well. It doesn't matter what you think of Jews for Jesus. It does matter what you think of Jesus and someday you'll have to account for whether or not you were willing to know him.
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