My Strategic High Calling
By Greg Leekley
Have you ever learned a new word or concept and then suddenly it pops up everywhere? I have. Then I wonder, has it always been there right in front of my nose and I just never noticed it, or did I simply clue in along with everyone else on the trend?
The Simple Truth
Such is the case with the truth of “to the Jew first” regarding our priority of sharing the Good News of Messiah and for me, a Gentile believer, an even more direct and strategic high calling (Romans 1:16, 11:11).
From the time Sam Nadler drew my attention to this simple and clear truth found right under my Gentile nose in the book of Romans, I can’t seem to do much of anything without having the opportunity to share the truth of Yeshua with a Jewish person.
Were these opportunities always randomly occurring around me or are they divine appointments now that I’m actively seeking to plant seeds “to the Jew first?”
My increasingly frequent Jewish encounters come in two types: believers and non-believers in our Messiah. If the encounter is with someone not yet a believer, I get to respectfully provoke them to know their Messiah with their very own Word and Promise, as a watchman and witness to Israel of God’s faithfulness.
If they are already a believer, but have become invisible in terms of their Jewish identity, I humbly encourage them to hold to their Jewish identity as a critical testimony of Messiah’s faithfulness of Israel.
Generally, non-believing Jews cannot stop asking me questions once they see the sincerity of my love for Israel and the Jewish people. Their first reaction is often to suggest that I convert and become Jewish!
This opens the door for me to explain how I am secure in my adopted status as a Gentile. I have the King of the Jews reigning in my heart! I explain how I am grafted into the Jewish blessing of Messiah but would not want to blur the unique promises and redemptive work God is doing through Israel. Without His faithfulness to His promises to the Jews, the nations can have no hope (Romans 11).
The Israel Lover
A few years ago, in just two days, the Lord provided several such conversations while in NY on business. There was Sarah Cohen who was waiting on our table, who saw us pray before a meal and engaged us in conversation.
She said she had a Messianic aunt who her family calls “the Jesus lover.” I replied that my family, because of my love of the Jewish Messiah, calls me “the Israel lover.”
Later, there was a couple in the restaurant where the male was wearing a kippa, which I always take as an open invitation to engage and encourage. That often starts by saying, “Hey, I saw your kippa and I just wanted to say that as a Gentile believer I am so grateful that your God reigns (Isaiah 52).”
They are always encouraged and grateful for the support, but my sincerity usually means that they must inquire and get to the root of my sentiment.
The love of Messiah should always be enough to keep a Gentile believer faithfully seeking first the lost sheep of Israel. While I am more than willing to pay a social or business price for such witnessing, honestly, I have never had to do so, as Jewish non-believers are simply too intrigued by my affection, and grateful for knowing there is a great and growing number of Gentile believers like me who genuinely love them.
As for the original curious question, is this momentum I sense merely my own bubble, or is it evidence of a changing tide and fresh momentum?
Without a double-blind, randomized placebo study to back this up, I offer that you take the next few weeks to open your eyes to divine appointments with a willingness to seek “the Jew first.” As a frequent flyer, I can’t seem to find a seat lately that is not next to a Jewish person.
In my travels, I stopped haggling over seat assignments and upgrades, since each time there is a change of seating or I’m asked to take a separate flight, the Lord gives me a divine appointment and seats me next to a Jewish person.
To the Jew First
In every walk of life, the opportunity to honor the simple truth “to the Jew first” presents itself and rises to the surface of my conscience, calling me to be faithful in my field.
After years of various encounters, the stack of names and business cards representing those who have agreed to accept follow-up literature or emails from me is starting to pile high.
While it shouldn’t have taken Sam Nadler, a Jew, to share the truth regarding the Gentile Great Commission straight from the New Covenant Scriptures (Romans 11:11), I praise God that he did.
As far as my initial curiosity, I’m looking forward to this 2000-year-old truth turning into the latest buzz. As I write this, the person sitting next to me is from L.A. and has a badge named Weinberg, so I have to ask…