I was quite surprised that this question hasn’t been explicitly asked on this forum yet, so I’m going to start it off. I’m on quite a good heresy streak lately, so I might as well keep on going.
I’ve been questioning why the Jews rejected Jesus and why there is so much backlash from the Jewish community. They must have had SOME important reasons for doing so, but I feel Christians in general have not done well in looking through their perspective. We just judge them, while saying that their hearts and minds are hardened. But is this actually true?
There are differing views on this but I think they expected the Messiah to fulfil 6 different things.
He must be Jewish. ( Deuteronomy. 17:15, Numbers 24:17 )
He must be a member of the tribe of Judah ( Genesis 49:10 ) and a direct male descendant of King David ( I Chronicles 17:11, Psalms 89:29-38, Jeremiah 33:17, II Samuel 7:12-16 ) and King Solomon.
( I Chronicles 22:10, II Chronicles 7:18 )
He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel. ( Isaiah 27:12-13, Isaiah 11:12 )
He must rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. ( Micah 4:1 )
He must bring world peace. ( Isaiah 2:4, Isaiah 11:6, Micah 4:3 )
He must influence the entire world to acknowledge and serve one G-d. ( Isaiah 11:9, Isaiah 40:5, Zephaniah 3:9 )
All of these criteria for the Messiah are best stated in chapter 37:24-28 of the book of Ezekiel:
“ and My servant David will be a king over them, and they will all have one shepherd, and they will walk in My ordinances, and keep My statutes, and observe them, and they shall live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant…and I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant and I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever and My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their G-d and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever. ” ( Ezekiel 37:24-28 )
A careful analysis of these criteria shows us that, although Jesus was Jewish, he did not fulfill any of the other criteria. An examination of the contradictory accounts of Jesus’ genealogy demonstrates a number of difficulties with the fulfillment of the second criterion. Specifically, the New Testament claims that Jesus did not have a physical father. The Jewish Scriptures, however, clearly states that a person’s genealogy and tribal membership is transmitted exclusively through one’s physical father ( Numbers 1:18, Jeremiah 33:17 ). Therefore, Jesus cannot possibly be a descendant of the tribe of Judah nor of King David and King Solomon.
There are even further problems with any attempts to use the Jewish Scriptures to prove Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph, the husband of Mary (Jesus’ mother).
For the New Testament claims that Joseph was a descendant of King Jeconiah, who in the Hebrew Bible was cursed to never have a descendant “ sitting on the throne of David and ruling any more in Judah ” ( Jeremiah 22:30 ). Joseph’s genealogy, even if it were transmittable to Jesus, would only serve to further disqualify Jesus as the Messiah.
Finally, there is the problem of the contradictory accounts of Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew, Chapter 1 and Luke, Chapter 3. The common Christian explanation of this contradiction claims that Luke’s genealogy is that of Jesus’ mother, Mary. However, this is unfounded, even according to the Greek original. In addition, it has already been established that genealogy is transferred solely through the father, making this attempted explanation completely irrelevant. Even if one could trace one’s genealogy through one’s mother, there would be the additional problem in that Luke 3:31 lists Mary as a descendant of David through Nathan, Solomon’s brother, and not through Solomon himself as is prophesied in I Chronicles 22:10 of the Jewish Bible.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth criteria have obviously not been fulfilled, either during Jesus’ time or since. Any Christian claims that these final criteria will be fulfilled in a “ Second Coming ” are irrelevant because the concept of the Messiah coming twice has no scriptural basis.
To summarize, we cannot know that someone is the Messiah until he fulfills all of the above criteria.
The Christian understanding of the Messiah and Jesus differs greatly from the Jewish biblical view.
If you respond to this, please use scripture to refute the above. Specifically, I want to know why there is such a discrepancy between the OT promises of the Messiah, and that of Jesus.