I once asked an Orthodox Jewish “anti-missionary” what he thought was the overarching message of the Hebrew Bible. Not usually at a loss for words and usually ready with an answer, this question somehow threw him. “We don’t think of the Bible in those terms” was his first attempt at an answer. Exactly. That is precisely why many first-century religious leaders in Jerusalem failed to recognize the time of redemption had come. Not to be too hard on the rabbis — at first the apostles didn’t fully understand the sort of redemption Jesus had accomplished either.
Rev. Fred Klett is director of CHA IM Ministry, a Reformed mission to the Jewish people, and is minister of Rock of Israel (PCA), a congregational church plant in northeast Philadelphia.