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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.
Not only did they believe the Messiah would establish a earthly kingdom and rule over the earth (now), they were blinded to the things of God, BY God himself -- "as it is written: GOD GAVE them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” (Romans 11:7-10). Yet this falling away of them is to bring Salvation to the Gentiles, the world - "Again I ask:Did they (Israel) stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! (Romans 11:11-12). All in All - this salvation to the world, will result in their salvation as well. They will be saved -- "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery (it is a mystery, but it's the Gospel), brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way ALL ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob." (Romans 11:25-26). That is Jesus primary mission, why his name was given -- "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus:for he SHALL save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21). This includes the World, not only because God so loves the world (John 3:16): it was the promise and gospel through Abraham "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:and IN THEE SHALL ALL families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:3). The Jews rejecting Jesus is needful for the Salvation of All. "For God has bound EVERYONE over to disobedience so that he may have MERCY ON THEM ALL. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "(Romans 11:32-33)
The Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." It was prophesied that Israel would be spiritually blinded. Psalms 69:22-28; Isaiah 29:10. The Lord Jesus confirmed and explained the prophecy in Matthew 13:10-16 The Apostle John wrote concerning Israel's blindness in chapter 12:36-42. Luke recorded Paul's words concerning Israel' s blindness in Acts 28:25-27. Paul repeats the prophecy in Romans 11:7-12.
During Jesus life on earth, many Jews were spiritually blinded. Even their spiritual leaders hated Jesus: the Pharisees and Sadduccee's couldn't see Jesus' miracles and couldn't understand His teachings The animosity culminated and was expressed by their cries to "Crucify Him!" Like Judas, the religious leaders and Jewish people, in accordance with God's plan, had been instrumental to Jesus' death at the Cross. At the same time, allowing Jesus to fulfill His mission to save the people who are lost.
When Jesus came the Jewish religion had degenerated into law keeping to make themselves righteous enough to go to heaven. They could not believe in Jesus because He did not go by their man-made rules and regulations. They trusted in their own righteousness instead of trusting in His righteousness by faith. They went about establishing their own righteousness instead of trusting in Jesus and His righteousness. Many in the church today are also believe that they can attain righteousness by their own good works instead of trusting in Jesus' righteousness by faith. By this I believe that the Church age is about over. We do good works to save us instead of doing good works because of our love for God and people and what Jesus did on the cross for us. The Jew's religion was nothing but filthy rags before a Holy God. How many churches have added extra biblical rules we are supposed to follow instead of following Christ by faith, and believing that it is following these rules is what saves them? Jesus told the Pharisees that there would be prostitutes in heaven before them. Following a list of rules will not save anyone, but does lead to spiritual pride. Men want to earn their salvation instead of trusting in the only one that can save us.
In the days of Moses, God first organized his church and revealed to them his plan. To keep that church in the knowledge of that plan, the Eternal ordained 7 annual festivals. These festivals pictured the 7 steps in carrying out God's plan. When the Old Testament Church departed from celebrating these festivals, they lost the knowledge of the plan. This is exactly what had happened to the Jews in New Testament times! The Jews did not understand the prophecies of the first coming of Christ because they were not keeping the one festival (Passover) which pictured that Christ was coming first as the paschal lamb. They knew he would come later, at the close of 6000 years of human history (pictured by the feast of trumpets) - as the conquering king! Out of the 7 festivals, the Jews were able to keep right the 5, but the 2 festivals on which the had become confused and divided pictured the very part of God's plan which they had lost! The Jews never realized that the Passover pictured the coming of the Messiah as the Passover lamb - to bear our sins (1Cor 5:7). Having changed the day of the true passover, the Jews cut themselves off from their God. To change the day, to neglect it, is sin. And sin cuts one off from God. Hence, they were unable to recognize the true Gospel when it came to them through Jesus Christ, the Messiah, to come as a man to bear the sins of the world. No wonder the Jews crucified the Saviour! They had forgotten the true Passover. And no wonder they did not receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, because they were not keeping the day of Pentecost which pictured the coming of the Holy Spirit. Why then did the Jews, who to this day have preserved the true calendar, celebrate their Passover and their Pentecost on different days from those plainly stated in the Bible? Why are they so confused and divided? Because no Authority was exercised to keep unity in the Jewish community in New Testament times! The Jews in Judaea in Christ's day celebrated their Passover one day later than did Jesus and the Galileans. The Pharisaic Judaeans also ceased to count 50 days to determine the Day of Pentecost is to be celebrated. Most Jews today celebrate their Pentecost on the 6th day of the 3rd month, Sivan. According to Jewish tradition the Day of Pentecost no longer needs to be counted. Their Pentecost falls on a fixed day of the month, no matter what day of the week it occurs. Yet, Moses was inspired to write that Pentecost has to be counted (Lev 23:15). Unlike every other annual festival, Pentecost does not fall on a set day of the month. It falls, rather, on variable days of the month, but on a specific and invariable day of the week! Jesus and the Galileans observed the Passover on Nisan 14 - the true set date of the Passover. The Jews in Judaea celebrated it one day late, on the night of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of Nisan or Abib. Today the Jews do not really keep any Passover. They observe only the Feast. This is the reason why the Jews as a nation forgot their God and rejected the Saviour. They were not able to recognized him when he came in human form.
According to some Jews, Jesus is not the promised Messiah because: 1. He did not come directly from the lineage of David. Joseph is of the lineage of David but he was betrothed to Mary. They were just engaged so technically, Jesus did not have any of Joseph's blood lineage in him. Also, the promised Messiah from the Old Testament is promised to bring a 1,000 year peace when he comes. Jesus will bring a 1,000 years of peace but it has not come yet.
The Bible says that Jesus blinded the Jews, except for the elect, until the fulfillment of time and the total of Gentiles have come into Gods kingdom. Because of their disbelief, God left them in the desert (metaphor) until his return. Then they will see Him and he will save them.
It must be understood that in the Old Testament times God always send someone be it a Prophet or King to lead the children of Israel, to fight for them and with them in an effort to take them out of bandage. These children allowed to go into bondage when they sin against God and the laws of God but through repentance and re-submission He would send deliverance for them. Secondly they were a firm believer of the Mosaic law (man made law) an eye for an eye. They were of the belief that Yshua (Jesus) would have been like Moses, David or even Saul. Instead of coming to fight for them and deliver them He came preaching "love for an enemy, turn the other cheek, feed your enemy, forgiveness and other topics which is counter to the Mosaic laws. The JEWS did not kill the Messiah------God allows all things that He sets the plans for and no one could have acted differently from what He planned; that is why Jesus said to Judas what you have to do go and do quickly When it comes to the feast days and more specifically the Passover, JEWS keep these days and in accordance with the laws sets forth by God. Remember it was during this celebration that Yeshua became the Passover Lamb. Jesus in Matt, 23:2-3 said "The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat; all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not." They do keep Pentecost in the form of Shavout and do count the 50 days called counting of the Omer.
Why were the Jews spiritually blinded by God so they were not able to accept Jesus? I believe it is because they were not intended to understand and enjoy the Kingdom of Heaven independently of the Gentiles. This can be inferred even from the beginning of Judaism at Mount Sinai, where the construction of the tabernacle was originally revealed. Looking at the tabernacle from the prophetic viewpoint, the entrance signifies the beginning of Israel under Jacob. The bronze altar signifies the Mosaic Laws of sacrifice; the laver of water the baptism of John the Baptist, and the veil covering the entrance to the Holy Place the first appearance and ministry of Christ. (He is the door.) Inside is divided into two areas in a two to one ratio, signifying the 2,000 year Church era and the 1,000 year Kingdom era. The second veil dividing the two represents the second coming of Christ. The second coming of Christ was thus an implicit part of Judaism from its very beginning. This spiritual blindness concerning the Gentiles is beginning to be lifted as more and more Messianic Jews see the truth and believe in Jesus as the coming Messiah. When the full number of Gentiles has come into the Kingdom through Christianity, then the Jews will also be finally coming in.
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