“In one sentence,” I began, readying my pen, “What is God’s heart for the Jewish people?” Her voice held a deep sentiment that came straight from the heart. “I have loved you with an everlasting love…” she answered.
Here at Bethany, during the electives course, the students have the opportunity to take a course titled God’s Heart for the Jewish People, taught by Kay.
Kay, a teacher with ywam, was perplexed with the hardships of the Jewish people as seen in the holocaust as a teenager. While in high school she watched the movie The Hiding Place and independently studied the subject of the oppression of the Jews throughout history, though she is not Jewish. At the age of thirty she came to follow Jesus and started take trips to Israel with ywam as well as attend the ywam school of Jewish studies. Her years of extensively studying the history of the Jews has demonstrated itself time after time in the classroom as she shared knowledge from the history books, insight into the scripture, and experience from the field.
I was able to sit down with her and ask her a few questions regarding her experience of ministering to the Jewish people. One of my first questions was about the history of the Jewish people post-resurrection. To boil down so many events in history into a concise sentence is pretty difficult, but it’s safe to say that the Jews have lived as sojourners on the earth. The destruction of the temple, Constantine, the rise of Islam, the crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition all pushed the Jewish people from one place to another. They have a history of roaming the globe, but throughout scripture we see the Lord promise over and over again, “but one day, I’m going to gather you back to Israel.”
The second question I asked was what some of the misconceptions were that Christians often had about the Jews. The first one she told me was that Jews are often thought of as stingy, but that’s not the case. The Jewish people are actually notoriously philanthropic. The second misconception was that Jews happen to know the scriptures like the back of their hand. Not true. Most of them have never read Isaiah 53, which is a powerful passage to share with them.
Thirdly I asked her how we, as believers can best reach out to our Jewish neighbors. She said that it begins with getting our hearts right with God about the Jews. Become a real friend to the Jews, not like the fake friends they had throughout history, the ones who stood by their side in times of peace but turned their backs on them as Hitler had his way. Know their customs and practices. Love them as God loves them, having God’s heart for them.
At the close of our talk my final question was this: “In one sentence,” I began, readying my pen, “What is God’s heart for the Jewish people?” Her voice held a deep sentiment that came straight from the heart. “I have loved you with an everlasting love…” she answered.