Romans 11:15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
My husband recently had a meeting with a high leader at our congregation. I won’t disclose much, but to say they would like to see my family oversee outreach at some point. In addition, my church greatly values the Jewish insights and Hebrew perspective my husband brings.
Last month, my husband was invited to attend a meeting with Jewish leaders at a service that took place this week. It’s similar to a reading room where discussions of faith are held. One of the first things my husband noticed when arriving was the large number of books on the bookshelf. Rows of beautiful Jewish writings were on display. In the middle of one of the rows was a book, Broken Escalators, by Peter Haas, my pastor. Peter is a mainstream Christian. My husband mentioned he knows Peter and pointed to the book. This led to a long conversation.
The leaders were intrigued that my husband knew to touch the mezuzah with his right hand and kiss his lips per tradition. He knows Mishnah, Talmud, and many commentaries. He’s studied archeology, Hebrew vs. Greek thought, and Christian church history. I delight in seeing people in awe when the Spirit takes over and he just flows. There is nobody I know that can reach a Jewish believer better than my husband. Believe me.
He is humble and unassuming, and his appearance deceives. Over and over again, he surprises people. At my church, teens and young adults flock to him. His biblical depth stirs up an exciting interest in scripture, Jewish roots, and the Jewish Messiah (Yeshua/Jesus).
Back to the meeting, the leaders were fascinated that my husband doesn’t attend a Jewish synagogue or a Messianic community. And that fact is actually why they were so open. Unfortunately, they possess much negative feedback regarding the Messianic churches in the area. Sadly, these Jewish leaders do not see anything they want to emulate. They find Messianics to be a stumbling block. I initially typed out the specific details, but I decided to delete them. We’ve wanted to speak with certain leaders to help them. This would be best conveyed in person.
But my husband is different.
My husband told me, with tears in his eyes, that he felt the presence of God. And he realized the weight of his words and that they really listened.
A few months back, my husband shared about the Messiah to a rabbi that came to our church needing food. He was invited and went to a men’s group my husband leads. My church serves over a thousand cars a week with needed groceries and household items. The leaders at the meeting know about my church, my pastor, and respect their outreach and heart of tikkun olam (repair the world).
And yet, my husband shared how he felt like he doesn’t fit and never did. Back in Bible college, he was told he couldn’t go on a mission’s trip to the local Alaskan tribe because they thought his clothing and shoulder-length hair would be a turn-off. In fact, the leader that told him no was rebuked. It was discovered that my husband’s appearance would be appealing to the natives and my husband would be the one person they might actually receive from.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Being a bridge means a willingness to be stepped on by both sides. -Jimmy Rollins
The word bridge came into my spirit, and that phrase I heard Pastor Jimmy preach. My husband is called to be a bridge and connect both sides. But that will involve some rejection, misjudgment, and at times….loneliness. It’s interesting that my husband has been rejected several times for something he was the best fit for.
Both my husband and I are very directly dealing with unforgiveness and in a wonderful healing season. But as we’re discovering our calling and place in God’s plan, there’s heartache, too.
God has a specific calling for each of us. It will require us to be humble and promotable, as my pastor says. Blessed are the peacemakers per Matthew 5:9a. But it’s not easy.
I wrote this blog because our rejections in God’s plan carry a purpose. If God wants you somewhere, He will put you there. It doesn’t matter who doesn’t like you, or value you, or what anyone says behind your back.
If you’re feeling left out, it could just be that you are also a bridge. Shalom to the fellow bridges out there. God sees you.
God, help us all be like Jesus enough that people want to know You. We must decrease, You must increase. Take the little we have and multiply it for Your glory. Help us to love those that are hard to love. Give us Your heart for this world.
Romans 11:11-14 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.