I am a Messianic Jew. I proudly embrace Yeshua (Jesus) as my personal Messiah. Most Christians know that the Jews in the 1st century rejected Jesus because of his supposed political failings (Jn 6:15), and because of his claims to divinity (Jn 10:33). However, in many ways, the Jews of the last 2000 years or so have not so much rejected Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah of Isra'el, as they have rejected Christianity as a competing religion to Judaism. To the religious Jew, Jesus and Christianity are intertwined concepts and cannot be neatly separated in discussions about Messianic candidates.
Many Jews who are mildly familiar with the New Testament nevertheless misunderstand the message of Yeshua and of Christians, and interestingly enough sometimes end up attempting to use those verses they misunderstand from the NT in their argument against Christianity and Jesus.
I will attempt to list a few of the Jewish objections that Christians may not have heard of before, with corresponding texts from Jews, followed by my short answer to that objection, with my texts supporting my more correct understanding of the text as a believer. Space will only let me cover about three of the big ones I often hear from unsaved rabbis:
→Objection: Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies. Our king is still on his way. Christianity says he was that king, but even Jesus disagrees (Ezek 37:26-28; Isaiah 43:5-6; Jn 18:36).
→Answer: He will fulfill many of the future prophecies during his coming millennial, kingly reign on Earth (Matt 5:17; Zech 14:8, 9; Is 56:4-8). Even the book of Hebrews recognizes “At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him…” (Heb 2:8).
→Objection: Judaism doesn't need to rely on signs, wonders, and miracles like Christians do in order to believe in Messiah (Deut 13:1-5; Jn 20:30). Jewish belief is based on national revelation of God to a people (Ex 19:1-5).
→Answer: Christianity is rooted in biblical Judaism and thus accepts national revelation as well. However, the Apostolic Writings are based on eye-witness testimony, by Jews and Gentiles who lived and met the living Messiah 2000 years ago, many of which performed their own signs and wonders and also wrote down what they encountered (Mark 16:14-20; Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:8)
→Objection: Judaism believes the Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance with a renewed heart (Deut 18:15-22; Is 2:3; Ez 11:19, 20). The Torah states that all commandments remain binding forever (Ps 119:89), and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet (Deut. 13:1-4). Christians have historically rejected Torah, claiming Jesus “fulfilled it so that they no longer have to follow it” (Matt 5:17). Jesus, as well as Paul and others, violated the Torah and stated its commandments are no longer applicable (John 9:16; Rom. 6:14; Rom. 10:4; Gal 5:1-3; Heb 7:12; Heb 8:6, 7, 13).
→Answer: Yeshua came not to do away with Torah but to fulfill (Matt 5:17-20). Every Christian who knows his NT affirms that Jesus kept the Law blamelessly. Moreover, Peter (Acts 10:14), Paul (Acts 24:14), and myriads of other Messianic Jews of the 1st century were keepers of Torah (Acts 21:20). Paul teaches that all true believers—even Gentile Christians—are in fact fulfilling the Torah’s true intentions (Rom 3:31; Rom. 8:4; Gal 5:14). “Fulfill” in this passage must be shown, not to mean “abolish,” but to mean, “…whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven…” Yeshua came to fulfill Torah’s deepest heart requirements by empowering Christians to keep the fullest measure of meaning and purpose to the commandments. He also became the fullness of the sacrificial system’s substitutionary atonement (Heb 9:23-28), which satisfied God’s righteous requirement as embodied in the Law.
View All Answers