Ask Your Preacher
Why don't Jews acknowledge the fact that Jesus is the Messiah?
What Are They Waiting For?
Dear What Are They Waiting For,
The Jews of the first-century and the Jewish community of today don’t want to accept the New Testament because Jesus wasn’t the kind of Messiah they were (and are) expecting. Jesus came to set up a spiritual kingdom (Jhn 18:36), and instead of creating a powerful, physical Israel… He died a gruesome death. The Jews were anticipating a physical restoration of their nation (Acts 1:6), but Jesus created a spiritual kingdom that dwells within the hearts of faithful men and women (Lk 17:21). When the Jews tried to make Jesus an earthly king, He refused (Jhn 6:15). Jesus’ death is a stumbling block and offense to any Jew expecting a powerful and mighty Messiah (1 Cor 1:23). Jesus just wasn’t the kind of king they wanted.
Are Jews Jesus' chosen people? And why?
Yay For Yarmulke
Dear Yay For Yarmulke,
The Jews are not Jesus’ chosen people; the church is. Jesus says that christians are His royal priesthood and chosen race (1 Pet 2:9). Under the Old Testament, the Jewish people were God’s nation (Deu 7:6). The Jewish nation was warned that if they rejected God’s Son, they would be rejecting God, and God would make a new nation out of those who believed in Christ (Jesus explained this to the Jews in the parable of the vineyard – Lk 20:9-19). The vast majority of Jews didn’t believe in Jesus, and therefore, they never became a part of Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus’ chosen people are those that love Him and keep His commandments (Jhn 14:15). The Jewish people rejected God because they would rather have their traditions than God’s Son (Mk 7:9).
I don't get it... if Jesus was a Jew, why isn't Judaism the correct religion? Did I miss something?
Dear Confused Christian,
Jesus was born a Jew (Matt 1:17), lived under the Jewish law (Lk 2:41-42), and even taught His fellow Jews to obey the Old Testament law (Matt 23:1-3). Judaism was the right religion, until Jesus died on the cross and replaced Judaism with Christianity. The Old Testament, the law the Jews followed, was a tutor to lead people to Christ, but after Jesus came, mankind was supposed to follow Him instead (Gal 3:24-25). The Jewish law said that someday there would come a Messiah who would save them from their sins – Jesus was that Messiah (Jhn 1:45). The Jewish law taught mankind that they needed a Savior, and that they should prepare for His coming. Jesus came providing the grace and truth that wasn’t possible under Jewish law (Jhn 1:17). Jesus’ death made a permanent sacrifice for sins that none of the Old Testament animal sacrifices ever could (Heb 10:1-4).
(This post is a follow-up to “Blood In Both Directions”)
Does this mean, according to Paul, the justification and reconciliation could be attained despite the fact that the matter of faith in the Christ remained a secret until the first century when it became revealed to Paul and his associates? Was the conscious faith not necessary until then for some reason?
Just Wondering Jew
Dear Just Wondering Jew,
People who lived before Christ were still saved by faith in God. The whole point of faith is that it is a matter of trusting whatever God has told you (Rom 10:17). Faith assumes that there are pieces of the puzzle that aren’t revealed to you yet... but that the person (or in this case Deity) that you are putting your faith in is trustworthy (Heb 11:1). The Old Testament saints had faith in Christ because they trusted in the Messiah that was to come. The New Testament saints have faith in Christ as they trust the words of the Messiah who walked this earth many years ago… both groups have faith in Christ. Each group had different instructions and different information that God had given them to follow, but they both had faith in the same God (1 Cor 10:1-4). Each group had a conscious faith in God – just different rules to follow.
Hello. I am a religious Jew but am interested in understanding other religions. My question is: how did Paul explain how Jews (or Gentiles) were able to be justified (righteous) with or without the Law if the salvation of the Christ was a secret until it was revealed to him and his colleagues in the first century? How did David and Abraham acquire righteousness if they (or anyone else) did not know about the role of the Christ? Thanks.
Just Wondering Jew
Dear Just Wondering Jew,
The New Testament teaches that the sacrifices that cleansed the Jewish people from sin never truly removed the sin (Heb 10:1-4). The Jewish nation (along with all faithful people) needed God’s blood to permanently remove sin and make them righteous. When Jesus died on the cross, His blood paid the price for those who had gone before and those who were to come after… one sacrifice for all sins (Heb 10:12).
All mankind is saved by faith in God, including those found in the Old Testament. Abraham lived by faith and is considered the father of the faithful (Rom 4:11-12). Abraham didn’t understand the mystery of what God would do in Christ, but he did live knowing that God would send salvation (Jhn 8:56). Moses placed his faith in God (which includes Jesus because Jesus is Deity – Jhn 1:1-3) and was rewarded for it (Heb 11:24-26). All the faithful who lived before Christ did so in expectation of better things through God (Heb 11:13). Though they didn’t understand the details, all the faithful of the Old Testament anxiously anticipated the coming of the Messiah (1 Pet 1:10-12). Jesus’ blood covered the sins of those who looked forward to the coming of the Messiah… as well as the sins of those who rejoice that He already came.