Sermons

Summary: Should we witness to a Jew?

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I have been somewhat amazed that in the last few years I have had several people ask if I were Jewish. This is somewhat unique since for most of my life people have teased me about being Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes even though I spell my name without the “c”. I have been a SSGT and a SSG Shultz as well as a SK2 Shultz and even in the Navy I had a fellow sailor named Hogan in my unit and my shift leader when I was in Greece with the Air Force was named Hogan.

There seemed to be no escape from that comparison. I have found though as I am getting older the younger folks don’t get it when I joke with them and say, “After all, I am Sgt Shultz, I know nothing, nothing”. So maybe I will be free from that at last. Maybe all the “c” Shultzs should sue them for character defamation or something since we sue everyone for anything in this culture.

While strolling the streets of Thessaloniki or Salonika as the natives call it I was approached by a shopkeeper who dragged me gently into his shop saying, “Come in, I love the German people.” I had to doubt that a bit considering WWII and all, but I told him that he was almost right as I am descended from German stock but I am an American. Kaiser Wilhelm said that there is no such thing as a German-American so I would not have called myself that. Without missing a beat he said, “I love Americans.” I am convinced sales and currency are what he loved most but at least he thought I was German, not Jewish.

To those who have asked me about my heritage, I have replied that there are no Jews in my family that I know of, but we have always been right friendly so there might be some in the tree but not in any recent branches. I do know that some Jews changed religion to escape persecution and many were German so maybe way back somewhere an ancestor changed to Methodism and hid his Hebraic background or maybe was genuinely converted. Oddly, when my mother was mad at me she called me, among other things, “You little A-rab!” I don’t think she would have called me that today. An elderly Thai lady who obviously needed glasses once mistook me for Japanese. She thought I was really handsome so she must have had a thing for Japanese men but thinking me handsome only confirmed to me that she was near blind. A guy could get a real identity crisis if he wasn’t careful.

If I am of Hebrew stock as well as German that is kind of cool and I am tickled but I have no way of proving or disproving that. If I knew for sure I would wear a Star of David with a Cross on it to show my pride in my Hebrew heritage while proclaiming Christ as the Messiah and my Savior. I wish that my mother had let me take Hebrew lessons with a childhood chum. It would have been a great asset to me now, but neither she nor I ever expected that I would one day be a preacher so why would a Methodist need to speak Hebrew.

If I were of Hebrew stock would that give me an edge with God? There are some who think so and teach that Christians need not witness to Jews because they have their own covenant with God and we Gentiles have ours. There is even a Rabbi in Germany that subscribes to this. He states that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead and is the Gentile Messiah, but he is waiting for the Jewish one. Man, so close and yet so far.


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