A Jew Finds Jesus

Stan Telchin


     I’d just turned 50, and my wife Ethel and I had it made: two fantastic daughters, a 6,000-square-foot house, four BMWs and a country-club membership. So why, six months later, did I want to die? My daughter, Judy, a student at Boston University, called me and told me that she’d accepted Jesus as her Messiah and Lord.


‘Judy, you’re Jewish,’ I kept saying. ‘You can’t believe in Jesus. You can’t go north and south at the same time.’ She argued that Jews have always believed in Jesus. When I got off the phone, Ethel and I fell into each other’s arms and wept. How could this happen to us?


We were part of a poor, Russian Jewish family. My grandfather spent his life in the synagogue. Someone would call me a ‘Christ-killer,’ and I’d run home to Mom, who would tell me it’s ‘us’ against ‘them.’ To me, the words ‘Christ’ and ‘Christian’ belonged with the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust and the anti-Semitism I experienced. I wanted to stay as far away from them as I possibly could.


Now my first-born, my Judy, was telling me she had just joined the enemy!


When Judy came home from college, we argued for 10 days. She explained what had happened to her. Finally, she said, ‘Daddy, would you read the Bible for yourself?’


So the night she left, I picked up the New Testament and began to read Matthew. I expected to find a book of hatred against the Jewish people. How else do you explain the anti-Semitism of the last 2,000 years? I wasn’t prepared for what I found: a book written by a Jew for other Jews about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and about the Messiah He sent.


I came to the story of Peter, a Jew, preaching to Cornelius, a Gentile, about the Jewish Messiah, because God gave both a vision that said he should. In Acts 10, Peter is banging his head, saying, ‘How can this be? The Messiah is for the Jews, not for them.’ I closed the Bible and moaned along with Peter. ‘How is it possible that Jesus was our Messiah, and not for the Gentiles, and now He’s their Messiah and not for us Jews?’ Any concern for Judy was gone. I had to know for myself.


I read constantly now—10, 12, 14 hours a day. I had to answer some hard questions. First, did I believe in God? I decided I did.


The second question was harder: Did I believe the Bible was divinely inspired or merely the story of the Jewish people? On a visit to Israel, our guide had said that with each shovel put into the ground was found verification of the Scriptures. How could they have been written so long ago and be fulfilled today unless there was truth there?


Third, does ‘our side’ of the Bible (the Old Testament) predict a coming Messiah? Somebody said there are about 350 such prophecies. I focused on 40. What’s the probability of one man fulfilling those prophecies? Incredible. But did anyone ever do it, and did his name start with ‘J’?


The pressure was unbearable. Then I heard about an International Convocation of Messianic Jews. I went as a seeker and debated with everyone. The heat was building inside me. I was beginning to believe, and the last thing I wanted was to believe that Jesus was our Messiah!


In bed that night, I was in terrible turmoil. I argued with myself. I kept saying that it can’t be true, but, inside, I’d say, ‘But it is true.’ When a friend at the breakfast table asked me to pray the next morning, I ended my prayer, ‘In Jesus name.’ Their heads shot up and my head shot up and I cried and they cried! I knew it was true. The power of the truth just erupted from me.


I laughed and cried for 10 minutes and then I remembered: Ethel! We had decided to each do our own study. We gave each other permission to come to a wrong conclusion. I rushed to the phone. ‘Sweetheart?’ I said. ‘It’s true. Jesus is our Messiah.’


‘Oh, thank God,’ she said. ‘That makes it unanimous.’


My wife told me both she and our daughter Ann had become believers. I wept and wept.


God in His wisdom chose the Jewish people. We tend to think it’s because we’re so special. No, He chose us because we were the least of all nations. In our weakness, we receive His strength. And Jesus is that One, sent by God, to deliver His people. He is the brilliant jewel in the crown of Israel.


Found in: http://www.lovehalifax.com/changed/stelchin.html

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