The most popular page on the orthodox Jewish aish.com website today is a video of the “Son of Hamas” speaking in Germany, followed closely by an article titled “Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus.”
It is undeniably riveting to hear Mosab Hassan, son of a founder of the Hamas movement, proclaim that he loves Israel. Eight minutes into the video we’re on the edge of our seat as he starts to explain that his most important motivation for working for the state of Israel was “the deep understanding of God’s love for all his children…” Suddenly an abrupt edit removes the next words: “through the person of Jesus Christ.” (Click here if you’d like to see the unedited version).
Well, the heavy-handed editing can only stir up curiosity among web surfers about what had to be censored. One can no more successfully delete Jesus from Mosab Hassan’s testimony than one can delete him from the history of the Jewish people. This episode only highlights that it is the unique power of the Messiah to break down walls between people.
Which makes my experience Friday morning all the more sad. At a breakfast in Haifa to honor graduates of a counseling training program (including our coworker Suhail), I sat next to the leader of a Messianic congregation. He was asked his thoughts about the “Arab Spring,” and began to explain that he’s out of step with all the pessimism and suspicion he hears among other believers. He sees an historic window of opportunity opening, but jeopardized by “the hate Christians have for Muslims.”
I have to admit that I know exactly what he’s talking about. We believe the worst of our Muslim neighbors. We are afraid and we are unkind. We have no hope for them. We see them as the enemy. It is 1 Corinthians 13 writ backwards.
Friends, if an encounter with the Messiah can bring the Son of Hamas to love Israel, can He also bring us to love Muslims?