Recently, our Israel director, Michael, was with some friends from Chicago to discuss opportunities for new projects. They were eating breakfast at a local coffee shop and noticed a religious man sitting next to them. Suddenly, one of the Christian friends asked, looking at the religious man, “What constitutes a good standing with God from the viewpoint of a religious Jew?” Not even thinking twice, Michael redirected his question to the Orthodox man, and they were all absolutely amazed with his answers.
First of all, he began his answer from a survey of Calvin and Luther’s position on predestination and how it is different from that of Aquinas and Aristotle. Then he went straight to Augustine and compared him to the great religious Jewish thinker Rambam. Finally, he paraphrased the famous passage from the Scriptures that man should live by faith alone! They were absolutely shocked and then he asked the Christian guests, “After you have seen that I am very familiar with Christian writers, can you in turn tell me that you are familiar with Judaism?” Needless to say, they could not say yes. “So,” he concluded, “is it not Paul who advised you to be as a Jew to the Jew?”
God gave us a very good lesson that day! The religious people in Israel make up 25 percent of the population! Lately, we at Chosen People Ministries—Israel are working towards evangelism among Orthodox Jews, and it is impossible to do this without going deeper in understanding the life of these dear people!