Rabbi Tovia Singer claims: “If Jesus was the Messiah, you would have known that from reading the newspapers, because the front page would be about peace instead of wars. But since Jesus’ time until this day, more than 120 million people have died in wars.” Rabbi Joseph Mizrachi added that when the Messiah comes, “there will be no more wars in the world. Everyone will live in peace; “The wolf will live with the lamb”.
Indeed, there are those who raise the question and ask us, if Jesus is really the Messiah, why are there so many wars and suffering in the world? Isn’t he supposed to bring world peace?
The thing is, that if you read the entire Old Testament, you will not find any verse that says “when the Messiah comes, all wars will cease.” These conclusions are based on false interpretations of different passages. The question arises because when the rabbis try to describe the Messiah they are not consistent or decisive, but confusing and vague. This is why we find so many different and contradicting opinions about who the Messiah is, when he will come and what he will do.
Rabbi Yohanan claimed that “the Messiah will come when the People of Israel will be able to observe two Sabbath days.” While Rabbi Uziel Eliyahu claims that it is impossible to know what will happen when the Messiah comes: “When the Messiah King comes, we will not know what will happen until it happens.” In contrast, Rabbi Yaakov Halevi Fielber said that, “the coming of the Messiah depends on us, the people of Israel, and on our behavior.” Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri said, “the Messiah already came nine years ago.” Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said, “when the Messiah comes, he will make war and wipe out all the Arabs.” Rabbi Haim Levi Yitzhak Ginsburg claims that, “the Messiah is Rabbi M. Lubavitch who died over twenty years ago.” Do you understand? The rabbis’ timeline when it comes to the Messiah is completely confusing. Each rabbi has their own opinion about when the Messiah will come and what he will do when he comes. So, is there actually any connection between the Messiah and peace? Absolutely! But at a specific time, and in the right context. Or in other words: According to the biblical timeline, everything happens exactly according to plan, and Jesus has done everything that the Messiah was supposed to do up to this point. The problem is, that modern rabbis don’t understand the way that the Messiah is described in the Holy Scriptures. The prophet Malachi said that the Messiah will “refine and purify” before he brings peace. He will establish justice before He rules over his Kingdom.
In the Talmud there is a discussion and an argument between rabbis about whether the Messiah will come riding on a donkey or with the clouds of heaven. Why? Because both of these descriptions exist in the Old Testament. The argument continues to this very day. Is there one Messiah or two messiahs? Messiah Son of David and Messiah Son of Joseph? But the Old Testament never mentions two Messiahs, only one Messiah who will come at two different times, and will fulfill two roles, one role as Messiah Son of David, and the other as Messiah Son of Joseph. The truth is that the tradition of two messiahs developed among the Sages, because they didn’t know how to “digest” the apparently contradictory descriptions of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Therefore, they concluded that it is probably about two messiahs, and not one. But such an idea of two messiahs didn’t exist at all 2,000 years ago. In contrast, the idea of one Messiah that will fulfill two roles, in two different times (as we Messianics claim) did exist.
The researchers Vice and Tavor describe faith in the Messiah as it existed in ancient Judaism in their research that is based it on the Dead Sea Scrolls. They claim that the Jewish community in Qumran from the 3rd century BC, believed that: “The Messiah will first suffer and die, but eventually will rule in triumph during the end of days.”
Indeed, early Judaism understood the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah very well; that the Messiah was supposed to be both a Priest and a King. He was to suffer and be rejected like Joseph, because of the sins of his brothers: the Messiah Son of Joseph, and later, he would rule as king like David: Messiah Son of David. While today Jesus reigns in the lives of those who accept him as the Messiah, he will come back to rule and establish his Kingdom on earth. Only then, he will bring world peace, as the Prophet Isaiah said: “The wolf will live with the lamb”. The peace that you’ve been waiting for since the beginning will actually be the last thing the Messiah will accomplish. Until then, we live in a time of transition, a time in which God is setting up his Kingdom on earth in the lives of people. The population of the world has grown, technology has advanced, and therefore many evil people can do many more evil deeds. Jesus himself said, that before his return there will be wars, disasters, and humanity will experience much suffering. According to him, these will be the labor pains before his return in his second coming as Messiah Son of David.
We need to remember that this is only one piece of the whole picture. Since the time that Jesus came into the world, the number of people that entered a relationship with the God of Israel has grown dramatically. According to the Old Testament, this is one of the main roles of the Messiah. Jesus succeeded where the people of Israel, who were supposed to be a light to the nations, failed: To bring many gentiles to know the God of Israel. This is not to be taken lightly. Hundreds of millions of Gentiles who previously lived in spiritual darkness, now know the light of the Jewish Messiah, and worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The rabbinic idea of two different messiahs is a foreign idea in ancient Jewish thought, as well as in the Old Testament. This idea was invented after the time of Jesus in order to hide the messiahship of Jesus from you.
Eitan's professional background is in "Multimedia Design and Visual Communications" working for various secular advertising agencies in Tel-Aviv.
Eitan is the producer of:
1) I MET MESSIAH (Jewish testimonials).
2) Answering Rabbinic Objections to Jesus.
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