One of the biggest objections Jews have to Jesus Christ being Israel’s promised Messiah is the fact He has not fulfilled the Hebrew prophecies about defeating Israel’s enemies and establishing the Davidic rule of the world from a rebuilt Tempe in Jerusalem. However, the Apostle Peter spoke to that objection almost 2,000 years ago.
“But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:18-26
Jesus did fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies about Messiah’s suffering and would have fulfilled all of the other prophecies “if” Israel had repented and been converted. God would have forgiven their sins and sent Jesus Christ from Heaven back to Israel to establish the long-promised Messianic Kingdom. As we know, Israel rejected the offer and killed many of Christ’s followers in a futile attempt to destroy those “who were of the Way.” (Acts 9:2)
Most Jews and Christians agree that after a long time of trouble, God will establish Israel as the foremost nation in the world and will bring about universal peace. That’s where the Messiah comes into the picture. Some Jews believe the Messiah will be a man from the lineage of King David, with impeccable spiritual credentials, who will lead Israel to defeat the great armies of the world and bring in a time of universal peace. Some Jews believe the people of Israel will rise up with the help of God and bring in a time of lasting peace through the principles of messiah. Christians believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah of Israel and will come back to earth a second time to defeat the armies of the world and establish great peace in Israel. So, who’s right?
“Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
Thus was the question posed by the Magi upon arrival in Jerusalem, presumably to Herod, the king in situ at the time.
What had they seen? Why did they come to Jerusalem? It makes sense that, if they were looking for the King of the Jews, they would go to Jerusalem. But how did they know that a king had been born? A King who would be “King of the Jews?” What did they see? Continue reading
Arguably, Isaiah 7:14, prophesying a “virgin” giving birth, is the most contested verse in the Old Testament. Although Matthew unequivocally states that this prophecy was fulfilled by the birth of the Messiah, the Hebrew Scriptures seem to indicate that there was a fulfillment during the life of King Ahaz. Although this might seem like a contradiction, these two perspectives can be reconciled when we understand “multiple fulfillment.” In other words, Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled initially for King Ahaz, and then it was fulfilled decisively through the birth of Jesus.
The Book of Matthew (Matthew 1:23) requires us to understand Isaiah 7:14 as a prophecy fulfilled by the birth of the Messiah Jesus to the Virgin Mary. However, the Rabbis raise four potent challenges against this interpretation: Continue reading