So, you’ve been listening to him for 24 episodes – or maybe this is your first – and you’re wondering, “Who is this guy, Ezra Benjamin?” How did this Jewish coffee-fanatic come to believe Jesus is the Messiah anyway? And how did he end up Vice President of Global Ministry Affairs at Jewish Voice Ministries International?
Well, today’s episode of A Jew and a Gentile Discuss answers those questions and more. It’s more than a “testimony,” per se, it’s Ezra’s story – so far. It’s the kind of story that shows how God directs a person’s life, prepares and equips them, then calls them, and then… well, listen for yourself. Through Ezra’s story, you’ll be encouraged at how God works in each of our lives, even if things seem to take different directions and go slower than we think they should.
As Carly interviews Ezra, you’ll learn the typical stuff about where he grew up, his family and such. And then it gets meaty:
- What he understood of his Jewish heritage with one parent Jewish and the other Christian
- Where such a family worshiped
- When he came to faith in Jesus
- How his spiritual journey took shape through grade school and high school
- His struggle with understanding what his Jewish identity meant for him
- The story of his calling from the Lord and the long path that brought him into it
- How his Messianic Jewish identity changed after coming to work for JVMI
Along the way
Along the way, there are fun, surprising and insightful things, including
- How to say Rochester with a proper Rochesterian accent
- (Wait, what?) Ezra once hated coffee?
- The mysterious tug on his heart he couldn’t explain
- His “And Then Everything Changed” story
- The profound insight he gained from a period and a comma
- The life event that set the stage for him to deal with the calling God had spoken to him
- The “name of the game” for Jewish Believers in Jesus
- The powerful “point” of Messianic congregations
- What “Chosen People” does and doesn’t mean
Ezra’s story will speak encouragement to anyone who:
- Is in a confusing time of life
- Who believes in Jesus, has a Jewish background and doesn’t know where they fit
- Has experienced a calling from God that just isn’t happening yet
- Is waiting for God to change the season of life for them
Words you might learn in this episode
Rabbinically Jewish, “descendant of a Jew,” Messianic congregation, Shabbat school, latkes, Chanukah bush, Shabbat, Torah portion, Haftarah, onag, proton (in Greek), Yeshua
Scriptures referenced in this episode
Romans 1:16, Genesis 12:3, Deuteronomy 7:6–8, Deuteronomy 9:6, Romans 11:29
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