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Lessons About Jesus from a Stranger

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

I stood outside the local coffee shop debating whether or not I should go inside. Suddenly I heard a quiet voice behind me,

“Excuse me, ma’am,”

I turned around and saw a man in his 60’s with graying hair wearing a baseball hat, jeans, and a sports sweatshirt.

“Can you help me?”

I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit and heard His whisper I’ve been learning to discern– Lean into this moment. Pausing briefly, I responded:

“Yes sir, what do you need help with?”

“I have been searching for a job all week. Someone stole my tent and all of my food, and I am hungry.”

He’s homeless, I realized. Although he looked pleasantly dressed, it was apparent he hadn’t bathed in a while.

“Would you like some food?”

“Yes, I would thank you.”

I went into the cafe and brought him out a sandwich and some fruit. I introduced myself and he responded,

“My name’s Cliff,”

“You know Cliff, the reason I felt compelled to help you is because I am a Christian. Jesus loves you so much. In exchange for this food, would it be alright if I prayed for you?”

“Yes,” Cliff replied. But what he said next caught me off guard–

“Do you know the history of the alphabet?”

What on earth? Maybe this guy is a little crazy, I thought to myself. Anways, what is there to know about the alphabet? 

Cliff continued:

“The letter J didn’t come into the alphabet until about 500 years ago. Did you know there is no ‘J’ in the Hebrew alphabet? 2,000 years ago when the Messiah was alive, he did not go by the name Jesus. The name “Jesus” was not even in the original translation of the King James Bible 500 years ago…”

I stood there, shocked, as he gave me the history of the name of Jesus. Let me tell you why…

This past weekend I went with Take the City to South Carolina to do an evangelism training. On the way there I randomly asked my friend Jason,

“Where did the name Jesus come from? I mean, when did we start calling Him Jesus? His name was Yahushua in the Hebrew language. Why do we now call him Jesus?”

We pondered it for a moment, and the question drifted away without an answer as the conversation shifted.

Now a complete stranger sat in front of me giving me the answer to the question I had asked only a few days before.

“His name is Yahushua,” I responded in disbelief to Cliff, “I just asked my friend this weekend when and why we started using the name Jesus.”

I kid you NOT, Cliff looked me dead in the eyes and said,

“You know, it says in the Bible that some have entertained angels unaware.” (Hebrews 3:12)

Honestly, I was speechless. What do you even say to that?! I was too afraid to ask him if he was an angel, so I said, “Well sir, can I pray for you now?”

So we prayed and said goodbye, and I left wondering at the unusual and frankly supernatural moment that just happened.

Was Cliff actually an angel? I do not have that answer. Did I leave the encounter more in awe of Jesus and full of joy knowing that He cares and hears even the smallest questions we have? Absolutely.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”- Jeremiah 33:3

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About the Author

MARIEL VILLARREAL is a writer, speaker, and prophetic mentor. Her heart is to encourage this generation with right-now prophetic words that reignite hope during the waiting between a prophetic promise and its fulfillment. Through her ministry, the Embolden Co., she holds seasonal prophetic mentorships, training programs, and retreats to empower people around the world to develop their spiritual gifts and hear God for their lives—so they can bring revival to the nations. 

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