“There are Jews in Pakistan?!?” This is the common reaction I get when I tell people I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. My father, a Catholic, was of Goan origin (Goa is a western province of India), and my mother comes from the Bene-Israel Jewish community in India/Pakistan. We moved to Quebec, Canada when I was about four years old.
Searching for the ‘true religion’
Mom considered herself Jewish and never converted to Catholicism, though she held Jesus in high esteem. One Sunday Dad enrolled my brother and me in Sunday School at a Protestant church so we would learn more about the Bible. Though I wasn’t raised typically Jewish, I knew I had Jewish roots, especially when our family visited our relatives in Israel. At age 16, I stopped going to church in order to find the ‘true religion.’
During my last year in university, I came across a TV programme that focused on prophecy, Jesus’ return and urged listeners to receive Jesus as their Saviour. My friends and I discussed these shows and as a result, one friend invited me to church. I went with some hesitation. Then I heard the music! It spoke of hope and assurance from God, things I didn’t have. Moreover, the way the congregation sang surprised me, they sang as though they had this hope and assurance.
Jesus, the Jewish Messiah
Then the pastor spoke about Abraham and the binding of Isaac from Genesis 22. He compared this to God who gave His one and only son as a sacrifice for us. It was as if my mind was opened and I understood. My burdens were released and I had peace because I knew everything said about Jesus during that service was true. My family didn’t understand what happened to me but they recognised that I was different.
The more I heard preaching from the Bible, the more it all made sense. I heard a message on Isaiah 53 and again it was like my mind was opened and I understood.
Knowing Jesus made me more excited about my own Jewish heritage. I enrolled in a seminary in preparation to serve God with my life. However, just before my first semester at seminary my faith in Jesus took a blow from an ‘anti-missionary’ rabbi who was teaching me Hebrew. Nevertheless, I prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to show me the truth about Jesus and show me if the New Testament is truly from Him. God answered my prayers and questions, healed my faith, and squashed my doubts by confirming that Jesus is His Messiah, the Jewish Messiah, and that the New Testament is true.
Forgiveness and a sure hope
I graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, with a bachelor’s degree in Theoretical Physics, and later received a Masters of Divinity from Heritage Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. My whole family has received Messiah. God has also blessed me with a beautiful wife, Kristen, and three children, Elizabeth, Nathanael and Abigail. I want to tell my Jewish people and the whole world about Messiah Jesus and His love. He’s forever changed me. I know I’m forgiven and have a sure hope because of what Jesus did. He’s somebody worth sharing.