Add in the 30,000 Jewish believers who live in Israel, and the many others who live in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, and there are now about one million Jewish followers of Jesus in the world today.
That’s an astonishing number, especially when you realize that in 1967 there were fewer than 2,000 Jewish believers in the entire world.
I’m grateful to be one of them. Yet, I’m constantly asked — especially by Jewish people — how in the world this is possible.
“Dude, how can you be Jewish and believe in Jesus?
I love this question. I was first asked it in November of 2002. I had just released my first novel, The Last Jihad. I was doing a telephone interview on a hard rock radio station in Rochester, New York, the city closest to where I grew up in Upstate New York. And the radio host, a guy who called himself “Brother Weese,” asked me this very question.
I’ve been happily answering it ever since.
A nine-minute version of story of my spiritual journey — how I was raised by a Jewish father and Gentile mother, and how I came to believe that Jesus is, in fact, the Jewish Messiah, foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets — was recently released online by a ministry called, “One For Israel.”
Several years ago (2015), I recorded a longer and more detailed version. I’m including it here in case you’re interested.
- My spiritual journey — part 1 — how becoming the author of The Last Jihadtriggered people asking me a critical question
- Part 2 — how my Jewish grandparents escaped from Russia, my father’s Jewish upbringing, my mother’s Gentile heritage, and how they met
- Part 3 — my mother’s spiritual journey
- Part 4 — my father’s spiritual journey, and then how I came to faith
- Part 5 — how I learned I was Jewish, and then my crisis of faith in high school
- Part 6 — the conclusion of my story, and so what? Why should any of this matter to you?
My hope and prayer is that as you listen to the story, it will encourage you in your own faith, and that it will be something you can share with family and friends to help and encourage them, as well. Thanks, and on this Passover / Easter weekend, may the Lord deeply bless you as you open the Bible, read the Holy Scriptures, and seek a personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This article originally appeared on Joel C. Rosenberg’s blog, April 20, 2019, and is reposted with permission.