Q: #238. Why don't Jews believe in Jesus as the Messiah?
A: The Jews believe that Jesus was just one in a line of many “false Messiah’s” that have appeared throughout history (Simon Bar Kokhba and Shabbatai Zevi are a couple of other prominent ones). However, Jesus is considered by most Jews to be the most prominent “false Messiah,” and believed by many to be one of the main reasons for Jewish persecution, as Jews are blamed for “killing the Messiah.”
The primary reason why the Jews consider Jesus a “false Messiah” is because they do not believe that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies and requirements of the Messiah as laid out in the Old Testament. For example, some prophecies the Jews associate with the Messiah (still to come) are:
Many Jews will return to Israel: (Isa 43:5-6)(Isa 11:12)
The Messiah will bring peace to the world: (Isa 2:4)
The Temple (3rd) will be rebuilt: (Ezek 37:26-28)
There will be a worldwide knowledge of God: (Jer 31:33)
All of mankind will worship only the God of the Jews: (Zech 14:9)
Since these events, and others did not occur during Jesus’ time on Earth, Jesus is rejected as the Jewish Messiah.
***Note: From a Christian standpoint, many of these prophecies are associated with Jesus’ Second Coming. Jews do not believe in a Second Coming.
In addition, here are other problems that Jews have with Jesus as the Messiah.
1. Jews reject the deity of Jesus. Jesus is NOT the Son of God. God does not become a human. Those who worship Jesus are practicing idolatry. Jews believe that the Messiah will be an ordinary human.
2. They reject the virgin birth of Jesus. The Messiah will be the offspring of a human father, NOT God.
3. The Messiah must be descended from David on the father’s side. (They reject the lineage of Jesus as found in the Gospels.)
4. They reject the miracles that Jesus supposedly did to confirm who He was. It is argued that those not from God can also perform miracles. (Jesus said His miracles were to confirm He was from God [Jn 3:2, Jn 5:36, Mk 2:10-12].)
5. The Messiah will follow Jewish law and the Torah precisely. Jesus said many of its commandments no longer applied.
6. Jews do not believe a “blood sacrifice” is necessary to atone for their sins. They deny the concept of “original sin.” (Most Jews would say they were “saved” at Mt. Sinai when God established a relationship with them.)
As Christians, we also believe that there are many prophecies in the Old Testament that point to Jesus. Jews believe we are mistranslating them. For example, we believe that Isaiah 53 is pointing to Jesus, while Jews believe it is pointing to Israel. Christians use (Isa 7:14) as prophecy for the “virgin” birth of Jesus, but Jews say the word we translate as “virgin” (Heb: “almah”) should instead be translated as “young woman.”
Of course, the New Testament tells us that because the Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, salvation was offered to the Gentiles (Rom 9:30-33)(Rom 11:11)(Acts 13:46-48)(Mt 27:33-44). For this, we should be thankful.