Preaching the Jewishness of Jesus

Updates | Stories | Lives Changed

Cary stands at the edge of the Mount of Olives, taking in the glorious site. There are green trees as far as the eye can see, although they are no longer olive trees. There’s a heaviness in the air. It’s the 70’s and the October War has just happened,

At this time, Cary is an atheist or at least a serious agnostic. His father passed away in high school, leaving him feeling empty. Maybe it’s because he’s in the Holy Land, but he can’t stop thinking about God. “Lord, if you’re out there, give me a sign,” he says on the mountain.

In that moment, two Gentile Christians approach him.

Finding Jesus in Jerusalem

Cary was raised in a Reform Jewish household in America. Like many Jews, his family wasn’t religious but identified as ethnically Jewish. They had hot dogs on Jewish holidays and Christmas stockings up during Hanukkah.

On October 6th, 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against Israel on Yom Kippur. This led to a war that lasted until October 25th. After college, Cary joined many Jews around the world and travelled to Israel to do volunteer work after the war. In his team were two Gentile Christians also volunteering.

Those Christians saw Cary deep in thought on the Mount of Olives. They told him about Jesus and the gospel in a Jewish context. They spoke to him about what God meant when He said, “I AM” and gave him the book, “Ben Israel: Odyssey of a Modern Jew” by Arthur Katz. They shared the gospel with him, and he began to think about how the universe had to be designed. When he came upon Romans 10:13, “…whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” he received Christ as his Savior.

Teaching Gentiles and Evangelizing Jews

Today, Cary has a passion for teaching Gentile Christians the Jewish background of Christianity. He loves teaching them everything from Jewish evangelism to the fallacies of replacement theology, a theology that holds to the idea that God no longer has a plan for Israel and that the Church has replaced Israel.

Cary has been involved in Messianic Jewish congregations since he became a Christian. He’s worked in children’s ministry, taught Jewish holidays from a Messianic perspective, and given the Sunday message at Ariel Ministries’ Camp Shoshanah. He especially loves teaching apologetics at different churches. He’s currently working on getting a second masters in apologetics and theology, at Southern Evangelical Seminary, and he is writing a book on apologetics which includes the Messianic prophesies. He also assists his wife with her ministry at Jews for Jesus. His testimony is in an Ariel Ministries book called, “What We Have Seen and Heard.”

How to Talk to Jews About Jesus

Regarding witnessing to Jews, Cary advises asking them what they believe. This is because there are different sects of Judaism. Orthodox Jews adhere strictly to traditional beliefs and values. They believe the Pentateuch, Mishna, and Talmud must be observed. Conservative Judaism conserves the essential elements of Jewish teachings but allows for modernization of practices. Lastly, Reform Judaism has modified traditional Jewish beliefs and questions teachings of the bible and rabbinic books. However, there are also secular Jews who do not believe in the existence of God.

He recommends showing Jews the Jewishness of Jesus and the Messianic prophesies. “You can preach the whole gospel from the old testament,” he says. Cary once gifted his Jewish cousins a bible for their wedding and left a bookmark in Isaiah 53. They read the chapter and became Christians.

Cary believes it’s important for Gentile Christians to understand the Jewish background of the bible as it provides greater richness and clarity. “You’ll have more depth and context, and a heart to reach Jews,” he says. One Jew he was able to reach was his mother. She held to reconstructionism which rejects a transcendent God, chosen people, and the bible, and instead embraces naturalism. She accepted Jesus, her Messiah, two weeks before she went to be with the Lord.

Praying for Cary

Pray for Cary and his wife’s protection. They have done incredible forms of outreach, such as handing out water cups and attempting to share the gospel with Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Ontario. Because of this, their ministries are susceptible to attacks by the enemy.

Pray also that the Lord would provide more opportunities for Cary to teach in other churches. This is his life’s passion, and he desires more direction from God about it. He is a volunteer with Messengers Messianic Jewish Fellowship, a ministry of Missions Door. If you would like to support MMJF, you can do so here. You can also learn more about him on his page.

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