Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?
Let’s Explore the Answer
The notion that Jews don’t believe in Jesus is understandably a confusing one for some, and how it came to be so is a question asked by many.
Fastened to the cross on which Jesus was crucified hung the title, Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews. Many Jewish leaders who saw it tried to get Pontious Pilate, the Roman governor, to change the wording. They insisted it should state that Jesus merely claimed to be the King of the Jews.
So why don’t Jews believe in Jesus? In their adherence to the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, why don’t they recognize Jesus Christ as fulfilling the prophecies made about the coming Messiah?
To answer these questions, let’s take a look at what skeptics and atheists have to say. Then, we’ll take a closer look at what the Bible says.
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What Skeptics & Atheists Say
Skeptics don’t believe Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah. Some acknowledge that He was a teacher, but maintain that many of his teachings were unorthodox (out of line with Jewish beliefs).
According to the Jews, the future Messiah will be instrumental in returning the Jewish people to their homeland, rebuilding the temple, and reigning as King during a time of great peace. In contrast, the humble Jesus who predicted the temple would be destroyed, who was crucified on a Roman cross, and who seemed to cause dissension among Jewish leaders, doesn’t fit their description of the Messiah at all. The most staunch skeptics insist that Jesus was a dangerous, false prophet who committed blasphemy (spoke offensively about God).
Atheists, who don’t believe in God, question the very existence of the man called Jesus. They doubt the evidence of His life as presented by historians–both Christian and secular alike.
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What The Bible Says
While the Bible has a lot to say about Jewish beliefs, the apostle Paul wrote a heartfelt message in Romans 10:1-4 that says, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Paul’s words weren’t written in a hateful or judgmental way, but with a deep desire for his Jewish brothers and sisters to believe in Jesus for salvation. Paul knew that trying to earn salvation through the law wasn’t only impossible, it was a distraction from the truth.
In an open conversation with a Samaritan woman, Jesus made it clear that He was indeed the Messiah. The story is recorded in John 4:25-26 and says, “The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
Perhaps, Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are worth a closer look. As we compare both Old and New Testament accounts of the One called “the King of the Jews,” we might begin to see the connection between the long-awaited Messiah and Jesus of Nazareth.
What would happen if you embraced the possibility that the God of the Bible really did create the world and really does care for you?
In the seventeenth century, a famous philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, encouraged people to make a wager when it came to belief in God. If a person chose to believe in God and God did exist, that person would gain everything (eternal life). If a person chose to believe in God and God did not exist, that person would lose nothing. On the other hand, if a person chose not to believe in God and he was right, he would lose nothing. But if that person did not believe in God and he was wrong- he would lose everything (lose eternal life).
This wager can be said another way:
Based on this logic, Pascal suggested the rational person would choose to believe in God as believing offers a person everything (eternal life) while losing nothing. Wherever you are in your faith journey, would you consider taking Pascal’s wager? If the good God of the Bible exists, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by believing in Him today.
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