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What do I tell people who use Jewish Scripture to prove that Jesus is the messiah?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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It is evident in all forms of Jewish writings that the purpose and objective of the Jewish Moshiach is to bring all Jews back to Israel, rebuild G-d’s holy Temple in Jerusalem, and restore the laws and practices of Judaism to its original glory.1

Take a look around you and see if the above has been accomplished. Unfortunately it hasn’t yet. Let me remind you that Jesus died close to two thousand years ago!

So you ask: “But what about all those references in the scriptures”?

Say I told you I was going to give you a gift: a brand new car. You asked to know when the gift will arrive. I respond that you will know it has arrived when you see it. When you ask what type of car it will be, I say, “Well, I will give you some hints. It will be bright red and have clear glass, soft leather, and rounded edges.”

If he does not function in accordance with the objectives of the Jewish Moshiach, he might be beautiful, but he is not the gift we have been waiting for. He is not the Jewish Moshiach
Day in and day out you wait for this gift. One day a large box is delivered to your house. You open it up and it is bright red with clear glass, leather trimmings, and rounded edges. You marvel at the beauty of this newly received picture frame!

Is it a gift? Yes. Is it bright red? Yes. Does it have clear glass, soft leather and rounded edges? Yes. Is it the car you have been waiting for? Of course not; it is a picture frame!

Without getting into a discussion if Jesus even fits any of the prophecies (there are books and websites like www.jewsforjudaism.org that actually go through each one of these so called references), the point is that even if there was someone who fit some of the aesthetic criteria mentioned in the Prophets, if he does not function in accordance with the objectives of the Jewish Moshiach, he might be beautiful, but he is not the gift we have been waiting for. He is not the Jewish Moshiach.

So the next time someone tries to convince you that as a Jew you should believe that Jesus is the messiah, tell him this: “I would love to talk to you about this, but I am quite busy now. However, very soon the Holy Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and Jews from all corners of the world will once again be living Jewishly and peacefully in Israel. If at that time it is apparent to you that Jesus had anything to do with it, or if you even happen to see him around at that time, meet me in a Jerusalem Café and we will discuss it then.”

Footnotes

  • 1. See Maimonidies laws of Kings Chapters 11 and 12. See also Isaiah 2:4, 11:9 and 35:5-6. See Micha 5:2 and Amos 9:11

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COMMENTS

What do I tell people who use Jewish Scripture to prove that Jesus is the messiah?

Posted by: Steve Daugherty on Jul 05, 2006

Are all prophecies interpretted the same by all Rabbis, teachers? All people? Since i know the answer to be "no", then the follow up question is who decides when a prophecy has been fulfilled? Surely, wisdom leaves room for men and women to entertain the idea that maybe the gifted frame held in it a picture of a car, or was made by Car Inc., or that it's a frame for a dashboard to a car yet to come- all of which weren't anticipated by human beings listening for the voice of a gift giving G-d!

Dedicated jews don't see prophecy fulfilled because they won't. Dedicated christians do see prophecy fulfilled because they will.

Please do not speak from authority until you admit to yourself your presupposition that Jesus is not Moshiach- and that you are likely committed to being convinced it's all untrue unless the red car your mind can imagine is exactly what you find in your box.

Shalom,

Editor's Comment

Rabbi Chein responds: If one has a visceral feeling that someone is the Messiah, he is entitled to that feeling; but that is not the context of this discussion. The issue being addressed in this discussion is if Judaism (not any other individual or religion) supports the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. I specifically mentioned that it is not my intention to get into a discussion of specific prophecies. My objective was to point out the objectives, rather than aesthetics, of Moshiach. So I urge you to read the first two paragraphs again and then do the math.

RELATED CATEGORIES

Philosophy » Messiah
Jewish Identity » Non-Jews » Other Religions - Missionaries

Moshiach
The Messiah. Moshiach is the person who will usher in an era of peace and tranquility for all of humanity when there will be no jealousy or hate, wars or famine. This is a fundamental Jewish belief.
Jerusalem
Established by King David to be the eternal capital of Israel. Both Temples were built there, and the third Temple will be situated there when the Messiah comes.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.