The Most Precious Gift I Ever Received

Posted on January 29, 2020


By David Ettinger

special Bible

The year was 1981 and I had been living in southern New Mexico for two years. I was born and raised in Queens, New York, and had come to New Mexico as a Jewish atheist. However, one reading of the Book of Matthew in 1979 convinced me that God was real and that Jesus Christ was indeed the Jewish Messiah. However, though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was not a Christian; I would not accept Christ into my heart until 1986.

During my first year in New Mexico, I met a man about two years older than me named Mike. The two of us bonded, probably because Mike was from the Bronx; we were a couple of New York City guys living in the desert. Mike also “happened” to be a Christian. Though never rude or overbearing, Mike would boldly, lovingly, and periodically share his faith with me. Knowing my Jewish upbringing, he explained that accepting Christ was the most natural and logical thing a Jewish person could do.

To punctuate his point, he gave me a gift one day in 1981, a “New Testament: Old Testament Prophecy Edition.” In the inside flap, he with great care and affection wrote the following: “To David, For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew which is one inwardly and circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit and not in the letter whose praise is not of man but of God. Rom. 2:28, 29.” He signed it: “We love you, Michael and Debbie O’Hara.”

No need to elaborate other than to say that almost 39 years later this precious gift has grown in significance for me, and continues to be the most precious gift I ever received.