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Why Do Jews Not Believe
Jesus Is The Messiah?

Most of the Jews who knew Jesus rejected His claim to be the Messiah. For the last 2,000 years, Jews have followed their example. They expect a future person they believe will fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies.  Yet both Jews and Christians accept the Old Testament as divinely inspired.  Christians are adamant that Jesus is the Messiah.  Why do Jews not believe Jesus is the Messiah as predicted?  Why are their eyes on a future Messiah?

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When we ask the Jews why they don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah, we discover four main reasons.  This is a complex subject, but we will examine these objections in this video.  After watching this video to the end, let us know in the comments section below if you think the Jews are justified in rejecting Jesus as Messiah.

Reson One
Why Do Jews Not Believe Jesus Is The Messiah?

Jesus And The Pharisees

Reason one: Jesus did not fulfill the Messianic prophecies.  Whoa!  Christians claim that Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies, many of which He could have had no control over.  The Jews have a valid point, though.  If Jesus failed to fulfill even one prophecy, then He could not be the promised Messiah.  So stop counting how many He fulfilled and ask how many He did not fulfill.  

Let’s look at the top three prophecies the Jews claim Jesus did not fulfill.

Prophecy One

Prophecy One: Jesus did not rebuild the Temple as predicted in Ezekiel 37:26-28.  The Jews expect the Messiah to rebuild the Temple, which will then stand forever.  When Jesus walked the earth, the Temple was being constructed under the orders of Herod.  It wasn’t finally completed until a few years before it was razed to the ground by the Romans in AD 70.  It has not been rebuilt since.

Jesus answered this objection in John 2:19-21 [NIV]: “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”  They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”  But the temple He spoke of was His body.

The Jews then and now believed the prophecies referred to the physical temple in physical Israel.  Jesus, and later His followers, believed His body was the true temple - or living place of God - and it was destroyed on the cross and raised three days later.  The Apostle Paul would later, in 1 Cor. 13:16-17, carry this further to say that any Christian’s body was a temple of God.

Our belief in whether Jesus fulfilled this prophecy depends on whether we believe the prophecy refers to a physical temple or a spiritual temple.

Prophecy Two


Prophecy Two: Jesus did not bring the Jewish people back to Israel as predicted in Isaiah 43:5-6.  The Jews expected the Messiah to bring all Jews back to Israel and to restore the nation’s independence.  Not only did Jesus not do this, He showed no interest in doing so.

Isaiah speaks of Israel being brought from all directions of the compass, even from the ends of the earth.  Jesus refers to this as His bringing the Gentiles into the spiritual Kingdom of God in Matthew 8:11.  

Whether Jesus fulfilled this prophecy or not depends on whether the prophecy is about the physical Jews living in the physical land of Israel or whether it is about the Gentiles being made a part of the people of God in a spiritual kingdom.

Prophecy Three

Prophecy Three:  Jesus did not bring in an era of world peace as predicted in Isaiah 2:4.  The Jews of Jesus’ day expected the Messiah to defeat the Romans and begin a reign of peace centred in Jerusalem.  Today, Jews still look for a Messiah who will bring world peace.  It is obvious that Jesus did not defeat the Romans, and there is certainly no world peace then or now.

But was the Messiah’s mission to bring global peace?  The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5:1 that “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Jesus brought peace between God and man, which is greater than peace between man and man.

Did Jesus fulfill this prophecy?  Again, it depends on the true meaning of the prophecy.

The Jews’s conviction that Jesus failed to fulfill the Messianic Prophecies and the Christians's belief that He fulfilled them all are based on different interpretations of the prophecies.  Which one is correct?

Reason Two
Why Do Jews Not Believe Jesus Is The Messiah?

Reason Two:  Jews do not believe that Jesus met the personal qualifications of the Messiah.  These include being a Prophet, being a descendant of David and observing the Torah.  

As an example, we’ll look at the Messiah being a descendant of David.  The Jews have an interesting point.  They do not believe in the Virgin Birth; however, they point out that if the Christians are correct about the Virgin Birth, then God would have been His Father.  Therefore, Jesus would not have met the requirement of being a Son of David on His father’s side.  By the Christian’s own reasoning, Jesus could not be the Messiah.

The answer lies in the principle of adoption.  We can see this principle way back in the time of Jacob when he adopted two of Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, in Genesis 48:5.  The rest of the Old Testament shows how these two adopted sons were considered equal to Jacob’s birth sons.  Although there is no formal announcement that Joseph adopted Jesus, it would have been the natural and logical thing to do.  We do have several references in the New Testament that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered Him to be the Son of Joseph.  An adoption would have made Him legally the descendant of David.

Reason Three
Why Do Jews Not Believe Jesus Is The Messiah?

Jesus Resurrection

Reason Three:  The Jews believe that the Old Testament verses Christians use to support Jesus as the Messiah are being misapplied.  A major example of this is Isaiah 53.  Christians have always applied this chapter to the sufferings of Jesus and His work on the cross.  

The Jews apply this to their sufferings as a nation.  They point out that the context of Isaiah 52 is describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people so Isaiah 53 follows the same theme.  They also point out that the nation of Israel as a unit is sometimes referred to in the singular.  If we read Isaiah 52:1-12, we see Israel referred to as “my people” and other plural terms.  Then in Isaiah 52:13 to the end of chapter 53, it switches to the singular “my servant.”  If Isaiah had intended chapter 53 to refer to the nation of Israel, he would have kept the tense he began with.  Switching from plural to singular in the middle of a prophecy indicates a change from the nation to a Person - the Messiah.

Reason Four
Why Do Jews Not Believe Jesus Is The Messiah?

Reason Four: Judaism is based on a national revelation. The Jews point out that thousands of religions are based on one man’s revelation, but Judaism is based on God's revelation to the entire nation at Mount Sinai. There were, perhaps, millions of witnesses to what God said.

This assumes that Jesus started a new religion.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 that He did not come to abolish the law and the prophets but to complete them.  The words and life of Jesus can be tested against the revelation of the Old Testament for verification.  For three and a half years, the masters of Judaism tried to find something they could accuse Jesus of, and in the end, they had to bribe false witnesses.

Why Do Jews Not Believe Jesus Is The Messiah?

Note:  In modern times, many Jews follow Judaism simply as a cultural thing.  They may be atheists, but they value their culture and heritage.  They may get angry when the name of Jesus is mentioned because "Jews don't believe in Jesus."  To them, believing in Jesus would be a denial of their history and identity.

Are the Jews right in rejecting Jesus as the Messiah?   Ultimately, what you truly believe about Jesus is the most important thing in your life.  We are free to choose what to believe, but what we believe does not change the Truth.  It is better to be a Truth-Seeker even if it goes against what we want to believe.

Reference Sources 




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