Around 1987, in Bethlehem, PA’s Northampton County Prison (NCP), I shared Jesus with a Jewish guy. Tragically. he did not believe. I then told him Romans chapter eleven prophesies; Jews w11l be blind to the gospel. Shortly thereafter, he was supposed to be transported directly from NCP to an airport for deportation to Canada. But, somehow, he got to Bethlehem where he overdosed on heroin. He died hours after he left NCP, thinking I was anti-Semitic. Instead, I was well-intentioned, but ignorant.
Thirty years later, I would share the gospel with sensitivity to the way Christians have persecuted Jews throughout history. I would also share that Jesus and His twelve disciples were Jews. I would let him know a person can be both Jewish and Christian. I would also ask for his opinions of the books of the New Covenant, Christianity, Christians, and etc. I would talk to him about the weather, TV, movies, sports. food, and whatever interests him without reference to the gospel. And, I would assure him I would not be offended by his opinions. I would be a friend, and let the love of the Holy Spirit appeal to him.
The model for this method comes from 1st Peter 3:15. 1-2, NIV: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”; “if any of them do not believe the word. they maybe won over without words by… behavior… when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
In the past decade, our LORD has used my friendship evangelism to save and disciple former Muslims, and a former Buddhist. But, I will never forget the Jewish guy I witnessed to in NCP thirty years ago.
EDITOR’S NOTE: You can write to the author, using the his address exactly as it appears below:
Josoph Henry, AS-1498
1000 Follies Rd.
Dallas, PA 18612