As is the case with many Christians (particularly those who have visited Israel), I have wrestled with the question, “Why don’t Jews believe in Jesus?” From strictly a Christian perspective, it is difficult to understand why a people who have such passion for God, and who understand the Old Testament better than most Christians ever will, simply “don’t get it” when it comes to Jesus.
With all due respect to my Jewish friends, I want to do my best to explain that dilemma. Based on my meager efforts, I want to present just a few reasons I can identify:
- Jewish belief is a national issue, not a spiritual one
- Jesus doesn’t meet the qualifications of the Messiah
- Jesus failed to fulfill Messianic prophecies
- Christians do not appropriately interpret verses referring to Jesus
First, we must understand that Jewish nationalism is very strong. which begs the question: Is one a Jew because he is born of Jewish nationality, or is being Jewish a spiritual identity?
In large part, it is the Jewish contention that God spoke to the entire nation, not just to one person. God made a covenant with Israel as a whole. Thus, Judaism is not reliant upon miracles as its basis. To the Jews, a religion is not based on such things as a virgin birth or any other miracle. It is based on the fact that God spoke to them as a whole.
For Jews, Moses is the key figure. Yet, they do not believe in Moses because of the miracles he performed, but rather the revelation that was given at Mt Sinai:
The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today.
The national delegation of those at Mt Sinai became the basis of Jewish belief. Because God spoke not to an individual, but to a nation (through Moses), Jews see their heritage as a national one, not a spiritual one.
Therefore, there is fierce national unity among the Jewish people that lasts until this very day. Personally, I believe that could be part of the veil that covers the eyes of our precious Jewish brothers and sisters, preventing them from seeing their true Messiah.
But take heart, Christian friends: God is far from done with the Jewish people! He has not forgotten or forsaken them, and He will fulfill His plan for them in the end!
“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.”
Stay tuned as we look at other reasons over the next few days.
Happy Lord’s Day!