What is the most important reason why most of the world’s Jews reject Jesus as their Messiah?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Ever since Jesus revealed Himself as the Jewish Messiah, Jews, as a whole, have rejected Him. This fact has been used by many to question whether Jesus really was their Messiah and to question how so many Jews could be so wrong. As you might expect, there are many answers to this question. However, I’d like to highlight the primary reason-a reason that answers a host of other similar questions regarding why something did or didn’t happen.
Before getting to the meat of the issue, let’s look briefly at a few of the most obvious historical reasons. The first is that the Jews were expecting something quite different from what they got. In Old Testament times, a common understanding was that the prophecies seemed to speak of two Messiahs – a suffering servant and a conquering king. In the time of Christ, they were looking for a military savior who would deliver them from Roman subjugation. In subsequent eras, they associated the “Christ” with all they had endured at the hands of so-called Christians. They remember how they suffered during the “Christian Crusades,” the Russian pogroms, and of course, the “Final Solution” concocted by Hitler and the Nazi party.
Whether it’s what the Christian did or didn’t do, the association has stuck. They want nothing to do with anything or anyone connected with what they see as “Christianity.” This is understandable. These feelings are so strong that most Jews refuse to acknowledge all the biblical prophecies that clearly pointed to Jesus of Nazareth. One of these prophecies is the focus of this article, because I believe it provides the most powerful answer for widespread Jewish rejection of Yeshua (Jesus). It is found in 1 Peter 2: 6-8:
For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed” (Is. 28:16).
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
“The stone which the builders rejected,
This became the very corner stone,”
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (Ps. 118:22; Id 8:14);
for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
These prophetic Old Testament verses clearly predict that the Jews would reject their Messiah, referred to by Isaiah as the chief cornerstone upon which the house of Israel would be built.
AS I SEE IT
The bottom line is that the Jews rejected their Messiah because God said they would. We can nitpick over the details, but this is the indisputable answer. Instead of casting doubt on Jesus’ messianic claim, God’s prophetic word authenticates it.
I hope we can keep this example in mind as we encounter other similar questions. If God said it will happen, then it will happen despite any attempts by naysayers to explain it away. That may be all we need to know.
I’d like to close with one final question for all those who claim to be a follower of Messiah Jesus. What are you looking for in your messiah? What have you created Him to be in your mind? Do you see Him as your deliverer from your personal version of “Roman subjugation?” Do you primarily want Him to make something in your life go away? Do you see Him as someone whom you expect to make your life easier?
Have you, like the Jews, seen your Savior as one who would deliver you from your problems, including sin, while looking elsewhere for your source of meaning in life, peace, and joy? Before we look down on the Jews for their failures, perhaps we should take a close look at the imaginary Jesus we may have created.
In spite of all the evidence we have been given, have we come up with our own way to reject our Lord while claiming to follow Him? Perhaps an honest assessment would show that we have been following at a safe distance and have missed the most important part – a personal relationship so deep that nothing can rob us of our joy.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
These notices actually appeared in church bulletins:
– Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
– Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. at the St. Martin’s Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
– The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.
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