I attended a funeral yesterday of a father of a friend of mine. He was nearly 89 years old and had lived a life well-lived. He loved to laugh, sing, and enjoy his family. What struck me about this funeral is what his granddaughter and his two sons had to say about him. He was a loving father and grandfather who cherished every waking moment that he had. He loved his wife for almost 65 years and helped his sons to grow to be really great men who are respected in their given fields and businesses. It appears that he never met a stranger and that everyone was his friend.
But there was another thing that was said about him that I find absolutely riveting. In 1996, when he was 70 years old, his eldest son came to speak to him about something that had changed his life. You see, my friend grew up Jewish and his father was a practicing Jew as well. Everything that they had learned from the Rabbis always raised so many more questions for both of them. My friend, after hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 1996, believed Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah that the Jews have been looking for generations. When he told his father about his belief in Jesus Christ, his father sat and listened intently to his son. Questions that his father had through the years, just like his son, were being raised–one right after another. Then, unexpectedly for the son, his father accepted Jesus as the Christ, as his Messiah.
It was not too long after their conversion that both father and son were baptized together. The Pastor that baptized both of them preached the memorial service for this man. However, what was most interesting was the way the son spoke of his father’s conversion. He said it precisely, accurately, and unashamed. He said, “My Dad was chosen. He was chosen by the Messiah when he was 70 years old.” He truly knew then what it meant to be part of God’s chosen people. For 70 years he had questions, and it was on that day in 1996, that he found the answer to be his Messiah–Jesus Christ.
I shall never forget this unforgettable testimony of a son for his father. And at the same time, I am rejoicing with him that his Dad found his Messiah.