Reconnect Episode 7: Jews Claim that Jesus did not Fulfill Messianic Prophesy

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Reconnect logo designed by Kyle Beshears, author of Robot Jesus.
Reconnect logo designed by Kyle Beshears, author of Robot Jesus.

Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah, because they claim he didn’t fulfill Messianic prophesy.  Andy received an email from someone arguing that there were four key prophesies Jesus did not fulfill.  The sender also listed other ways in which Jesus contradicted the Hebrew Bible.  Andy discusses this email with Crean Lutheran High School’s Old Testament teacher, Conni Schramm.  She provides a Biblical response to all of the man’s objections.  Her first response to the email is shocking, and it should serve as a reminder for all of us entering into such debates via online messaging!

How would you have responded to these objections?  The following is the email Andy received at andy@contradictmovement.org in its entirety (swear words are blanked out):

I am contacting you because one of your members noticed my Israeli Air Force shirt today and proceeded to launch into horribly misinformed evangelical nonsense.  I’ve had more enlightening conversations with Time Warner Cable technical support.  He shared his nonsensical worldview with me, and I felt I should contact you, giving you feedback on one of your flock.  Simply put, he was an idiot, but just barely intelligent enough to be _____________.

Let me speak frankly, then: Jesus of Nazareth was not the messiah.

What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

Specifically, the Bible says he will:

  1. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
    Second one was already standing – he’s out!
  2. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
    There was an enormous population of Jews outside Israel that stayed outside – nope.
  3. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
    If anything, more people were killed in his name than any other reason.
  4. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9). – Nope.

If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.  Jesus failed at all four.

The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father ― and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1)  – Yet the genealogies of the gospels CONTRADICT EACH OTHER

The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)   So, he’s a dissident.
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”    And a blasphemer.
Quite Frankly, sir, your evangelical organization is a sham, and the word “Contradict” in your title only refers to contradicting yourself.  You can’t hold that all parts of the bible are true if Jesus BLATANTLY contradicts the Torah, though you hold that it is the binding word of God (written by people, by the way, even Torah) even though it is contradicted by a blasphemer and political dissident who accomplished exactly nothing.  Jesus contradicts Torah, yet you worship Leviticus 18:22. YOU ARE CONTRADICTING YOURSELF! Normally, I don’t get too upset about these things.  This person was hell-bent on converting me back to idiocy, and I am hell-bent on letting you know the following:
1. That your followers are ________.  You won’t win any hearts and minds with people like that.
2. That your followers are also idiots, they are incapable of thinking for themselves save the lies with which you fill their heads.
3. I shall make it my goal to contradict your insidious movement whenever the opportunity arises.

Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah – Clash with John 14:6.

I received the following comment on a blog post:

Did you know that Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah? Where does that fit into John 14:6?

 

Someone else responded to that by saying:

See you can’t speak for all Muslims. Some do believe Jesus is the Messiah, others believe he was just a prophet who died, etc. What does the word Messiah mean to Muslims?

 

I think that was a pretty good response.  Ask the guy for more clarity.  Do all Muslims believe Jesus was the Messiah?  They likely refer to him as the Christ, but do they know that Christ means Messiah, and if they do know this, what exactly does the word Messiah mean to Muslims?  Do they have Messianic expectations that are the same as the Jews?  Do they understand Jesus’ role as the Messiah in the same way as Christians?

The original commenter responded saying:

It’s part of their doctrine. Mainstream Muslims say to not believe Jesus sits even now at the right hand of God and will come again is not to be Muslim. They believe Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. Look it up. It’s in the fundamentals of Islamic doctrin

 

This reply doesn’t exactly address the meaning of Messiah and doesn’t show that Muslims believe everything Christians believe about John 14:6 and the personhood of the God-Man, Jesus Christ.  Here’s the comment I left after this string of comments:

I know that you are right that Muslims believe that Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary.

I also know that they don’t believe he died. That is clearly stated in the Qur’an. If he did not die, then the doctrine of his atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind is not within Islam, which means that Muslims reject the prophesies of Isaiah 53. Muslims believe that each man must pay for his own sin, that they cannot stick their sins to someone else. This means Christians have quite a different understanding of who Jesus is and what he did for mankind than Muslims do.
The following page shows the verses from the Qur’an that support that Jesus was born of a virgin, did not have an earthly Father just as Adam, and did not die:http://www.islam-guide.com/ch3-10.htm.

 

Help me out, please. Where do you find that Muslims believe that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father and that he is the Messiah. Also show me what Muslims believe concerning the Messiah. I know that Christians recognize that Messiah means “anointed one” and that prophets, priests, and kings were anointed in ancient Israel. Christians believe that Jesus as the Messiah fulfills all three offices in such a way that no other person possibly can because Jesus is fully God and fully man (another Doctrine that Muslims reject).

 

Any feedback or additional thoughts or answers to the questions I left in my post on this topic would be appreciated.

 

 

Matthew 4:19 – Come Follow Me!

The following is taken from a student’s notes on our classroom discussion on Matthew 4:19.  Remember, these are just notes, a lot more was shared in class, but maybe you would want to add to the holes in the classroom discussion, or give additional information that maybe we didn’t even consider by commenting on this post.  The students periodically check in on the blog to see the comments.

Matthew 4:18-22

Matthew 4:19 – “And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

  • Jesus saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew.
  • Jesus then said 4:19.
  • They immediately followed him.
  • He saw two more brothers, James and John.
  • Immediately they followed him too.

It’s interesting how they immediately followed Jesus. How did they know this guy is legit?

Is it possible that the passage doesn’t record everything Jesus said? Did Jesus say more than just “Follow me…”?

Mark 1:14-20

Gives a little more detail than Matthew does. It suggests that Matthew doesn’t say all there is to know. According to Mark, the fishers might’ve known Jesus from his preaching.

Luke 5:1-11

Gives a much more detailed version; Simon and Peter witnessed an entire sermon from Jesus that he gave from within their boat, and they witnessed a miracle!

John 1:35-42

John the Baptist saw Jesus walking by and recognized him and proclaimed him to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  Two of John’s disciples begin to follow him, one of them being Andrew.. Jesus asked what they wanted and they asked where he was staying, Jesus told them to follow him and see and they spent the entire day with Jesus.  Then he calls them to follow him after they already recognized that he is the Messiah.