News & Views
GUEST POST: How a Jew Came to Love Jesus
Bobbie Ann Cole, a Messianic Jew, is a bestselling writer, teacher and speaker who has lived in Israel and worked for Messianic congregations, including with CMJ at Tel Aviv. Her experiences, have inspired her latest book, “Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel” from which today’s post is adapted.
Jesus claimed me during a visit to Israel in 2007, before I ever had any idea of going to live there, before I even met my husband, Butch. Marrying him was the outcome, the marvelous blessing I received from God, after accepting Jesus.
I went to Israel, saying hineini to God. This is Hebrew for “here I am,” a phrase that comes up many times in the Bible. I was looking for some meaning and spirituality, after five years of sickness, including breast cancer and clots in my lungs. My business had failed, my long-standing marriage also.
From the beginning of my first visit to Israel, in the mid-80s, I had felt a profound sense of privilege. There was something so special about it, as if the very air were holy, carrying on it God’s murmur. The sunshine on my face felt like God’s warm smile on me.
It was the memory of those uplifting feelings that brought me back in 2007 as a seeker. A Christian friend from Canada, Terry, met me there. We travelled the length and breadth of the country, searching, without knowing what we were looking for. Our last Sunday evening found us in a Jerusalem church, King of Kings. This was not my choice, but I felt I could not say no to Terry, who had graciously come to synagogue with me.
The warmth and joy of the congregation hit me the moment I went in. Terry, much to my horror, began snapping photos. “This is for my brother, Butch,” she said. “He’d love it here.” I had never met her brother.
There was something so special about Israel, as if the very air were holy, carrying on it God’s murmur.
During the worship, I began to feel an electricity coursing through me. I felt still, calm, in the moment, and somewhere other all at once. This wonderful, godly feeling had been given to me in a place of Christian worship, where, as a Jew, I had least expected to find it.
As I sat, dazed, at the end of the service, Terry reviewed her photos. They looked like tongues of golden flame. They seemed to echo what I had experienced.
I hadn’t wanted to come and now I didn’t want to leave. We went up together to the congregation’s 24/7 Prayer Tower where, with the lights of Jerusalem twinkling at our feet, a young South African woman prayed for Jesus to receive me as His bride and, in time, to bring me a new husband of faith.
I knew a defection to Christianity would be condemned by my Jewish friends and family and I wasn’t ready for that.
I was shocked by her prayer. I knew a defection to Christianity would be condemned by my Jewish friends and family and I wasn’t ready for that. As for a new husband, well, surgery had left me with a dire body image. I hadn’t so much as dated in the two years since my marriage fell apart. A new husband was the furthest thing from my thoughts.
The young woman wrapped me in a cloak of mineral green satin, the color of the Dead Sea. As I sat in the dark under its cover, all the scars from my surgeries began to ache. It was as if the dead parts of me were coming back to life. Despite this loveliness, the shift in my life was so daunting that it took me a month or more back in my native England following my trip to accept Jesus as my Savior. But I did accept Him. My family was upset. In their eyes, I had gone over to the other side. Still, I felt peaceful. I had so much trust in His care for me. He was speaking to me in many ways, great and small. He speaks to all who have ears to hear.
Shortly after I accepted Jesus, Terry received a rug in Canada she had first seen in Israel. It had taken her breath away and did the same for me when she sent me pictures. It was a beautiful Persian picture rug that depicted a hunting scene of two women and two men. The two women were galloping towards one another on Arabian horses. They looked exactly like Terry and me!
Her search for an explanation for her inexplicable photos that looked like tongues of flame at King of Kings had led her to this rug. In a Jerusalem carpet warehouse, a Messianic Rabbi had prophesied to her that great things were on the way.
The rug brought me to Eastern Canada for the first time in my life: I had to see it for myself. I had a wonderful, Spirit-filled visit. As it neared its end, we visited Terry’s brother, Butch, the one Terry had snapped pictures for in Jerusalem. I came home from that visit and wrote in my diary that I wanted to marry this man.
Terry and I had galloped towards one another on a rug and it led me to Butch, a man of strong faith, like the biblical Ruth’s Boaz. We were married in September 2008, almost a year to the day after we met.
A year later, we moved to Israel.
Adapted from “Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel” which is available for purchase through the CMJ Shop - Click here.
Bobbie Ann Cole, a Messianic Jew, is a bestselling writer, teacher and speaker who has lived in Israel and worked for Messianic congregations, including CMJ. Her experiences, have inspired her latest book, “Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel”. To connect with Bobbie and receive her FREE “Pictorial Guide to the Israel Jesus Loved”, go to www.jesus-ebook.com.