In this Jewish testimonial video, Washing DC Player, John Desser, discusses how, amidst a DC insider dinner, he came to know Yeshua as the Messiah, making a shocking discovery in the most unlikely of places.
John grew up in a strictly secular Jewish household, knowing that culturally, they were Jewish, but never attending synagogue, keeping Shabbat, or even acknowledging any of the holy days. His father was once filled with faith and love for Judaism but underwent a vicious trial of faith during his time as a physician; he was asked to give a blood transfusion to a gentile on Shabbat.
He went ahead and agreed, knowing that, while the Laws forbid such an action, it felt like the right thing to do in his heart. Feeling guilty over his breach of the Halaka, he sought out his Rabbis, asking them if he had done the right thing, to which they said, “No.” condemned him and his actions. His father then swore off Judaism for good, buying a ham sandwich on the way back home, as, “If the Law isn’t true, then God isn’t true.” His heart was broken, and he lived from then on out as a strictly secular Jew.
After John had graduated college, he decided to move to DC and get involved in politics, and ended up being hired on the staff of a then-freshman senator, John McCain. One day, he was invited to a staffer breakfast, but before the event began, he found himself among a strange atmosphere.
“Then all of a sudden it got quiet, and one of the men pulled out a little book, and he began to read from it. And as he was reading, the thought crossed my mind; ‘Is that the Bible? Are they reading from the Bible? Is this a Bible Study?”
After being introduced to several people, one man stood out, asking John, “What church do you go to?” to which he bluntly replied, “I don’t!”
John was later invited to the National Prayer Breakfast, and encountered something as equally profound. His political hero, Secretary of State James Baker, began his speech by explaining how Jesus was making waves in his life.
“Did he just say Jesus? Why would James Baker talk about Jesus as something that’s interesting to him?”
Afterwards, Mstislav Rostropovich, one of the world’s greatest cellists and John’s musical hero, stood up, and said the same exact thing; that Jesus was the real great interest in his life. Both of the men John had admired most had stood up, at the same event, and proclaimed Jesus to be the reason behind their successes, it shocked John to his core.
“Over time, I became sure of one thing; this Jesus question was not going away, and I decided the best thing to do would be to jump into it right now.”
John decided that the best way to solve the riddle of a lifetime would be to start by reading the Bible on his own. He began of course in Genesis, and diligently read a chapter each day, reading through the entire Tanakh, then onto the New Testament in Matthew.
“Then I got to the Sermon on the the Mount, and it all came crashing in. That’s our Messiah! That’s my Messiah!”
“The Enemy clearly doesn’t want Jews to know who their own Messiah is. And so he overwhelms us with thoughts of betrayal and turning your back on who were killed in the Holocaust, or killed during the Spanish Inquisition, And I felt overwhelmed with these thoughts and fears as well.
Later, at his great uncle’s funeral, he was pulled aside by his nephew, who inquired about John’s wife. He asked why, despite knowing that she was a very spiritual and faithful person, she hadn’t converted to Judaism. “Because for him, that’s the only way to be in a right relationship with God.” John began to explain to his nephew that there was a very good reason for it, that both he and his wife, together, believed that the Messiah had already been here before, and that should you believe in the blood sacrifice of the new covenant of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that there was no need to convert. That already, you are in a right relationship with God.