In a conversation I once had with an Orthodox Jewish guy, he told me I had been brainwashed because, “Jesus couldn’t possibly be the Messiah!”
So I asked him: “How do you know? Who told you?”
He answered: “Everyone knows. A real Jew can’t believe in Jesus.”
“Yes, but how do YOU know? Who told YOU that?”
He replied: “The rabbis say that he is not the Messiah.”
“Oh, OK, so you HAVEN’T taken the time to study the matter on our own, you haven’t challenged the rabbis. You haven’t asked the hard questions, and rather just went with the flow… but you’re still convinced that Jesus couldn’t possibly be the Messiah.
…and I’m the one who’s brainwashed?”
You were born into this brainwashing; a kind of “received wisdom” that no one dares to dispute. We, on the other hand, decided to think for ourselves, look into the scripture, sit and debate with rabbis, go AGAINST the flow, and refuse to automatically accept what some rabbi decided for us that we must believe.
We decided to follow the truth to the very end, no matter what the repercussions may be. For many of us, the truth we discovered cost us a lot: relationships, respect, and often hatred and persecution. Even by members of our own families. You see, many wonder how we can believe that Jesus is the Messiah, thinking that we must have been brainwashed.
After all, as far as the Rabbinic Halacha is concerned, Jesus is a false prophet who tried to lead the nation of Israel astray to worship other gods. We have dedicated another video to this issue, but it’s important to understand that the Rabbinic Talmud tries to casually wipe out the very possibility that Jesus is the Messiah. In Tractate Gittin in the Talmud, a fable was written, hundreds of years after Jesus according to which Jesus was allegedly conjured up and admitted that He was a false prophet. When Onkelos asked Him what His punishment was, Jesus allegedly replied: “With boiling hot excrement, since whoever mocks at the words of the Sages [rabbis] is punished with boiling hot excrement.” [Tractate Gittin 57] Meaning that, according to the Talmud, whoever fails to blindly follow the Rabbis’ laws is punished with boiling hot excrement in hell for all eternity. This fable was meant to intimidate the commoners, lest they dare examine on their own what Jesus had to say on the one hand, or rise up against the rabbinic authority on the other hand.
The years of limited access to information are over
As you know, during those times, the people had no direct access to the Bible if they even knew how to read and write at all. Instead, they had to rely on what our religious Jewish leaders told them. However, in modern times, not only are there printing houses, but there’s the internet. And even though the rabbis try to prohibit its use, there is a powerful spiritual awakening among our people.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world and tens of thousands here in Israel who have dared to read, explore and check for themselves, no longer blindly believing in mystical fables.
We have discovered that Jesus is indeed our Messiah.
But how did we discover that? How can we be so sure? There are two main reasons:
1) According to the prophecies in the Old Testament, the Messiah overcame death.
2) The prophecies in the Old Testament regarding the Messiah, which explain how we can identify Him.
Since the rabbis have rejected the Messiah, the concept of Messiah in modern Judaism is no longer based on the Old Testament, but rather on various rabbinic traditions developed by them. They have declared that these traditions are the “Oral Law.” These traditions caused a lot of confusion and conflicts regarding the identity of the Messiah, even among the rabbis themselves.
As Jews, if we truly wish to know who the Messiah is, we need to set rabbinic traditions aside and go directly to the source: The Old Testament.
The Old Testament creates a complete ID for us so that we, the people of Israel, can recognize the Messiah and put our faith in Him. Even our Sages admitted: “All the prophets prophesied only towards the Messianic era.” [Tractate Sanhedrin 99a]
How Messianic prophecy works
Chapters 44 and 45 in the book of Isaiah were written around the year 700 BCE. Isaiah prophesied and mentioned Cyrus by name. He prophesied that Cyrus would allow Israel to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. When the prophecy was written, Jerusalem and the Temple still stood fast and Cyrus was not yet born. Only over 100 years later, in the year 586 BCE, Jerusalem was conquered and destroyed by the Babylonians. Later, when the Persians conquered Babylon, Cyrus, king of Persia, issued a decree to rebuild the city and the Temple. All this happened nearly 160 years after Isaiah made his prophecy. In the same way, the Old Testament also contains future prophecies about the Messiah, His identity and nature, so that we can recognize Him.
We would like to quickly overview a few of the prophecies about the Messiah concerning His identity, according to the prophecies of the Old Testament alone.
The Messiah’s ancestry
According to 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17, the Messiah must be a descendant of David. Indeed, Jesus’s mother comes from the House of David.
By the way, these prophecies were given to the people of Israel in order for them to examine each “candidate” according to these criteria. The problem is that, along with the Temple’s destruction 2000 years ago, all of the scrolls documenting Israel’s family lineages were also destroyed. Therefore, ever since the destruction of the Temple, we can no longer know who is truly a descendant of David.
Where will the Messiah be born?
Micah 5 predicts that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.
When will the Messiah be born?
Daniel 9 predicts that the Messiah will come before the destruction of the second Temple, and that in the year 32 CE He will be sentenced to a violent death. Indeed, Jesus was crucified on 14 Nissan in the year 32 CE.
The nature of the Messiah’s birth
Like many of the heroes in the Bible, who were supernaturally born by barren women, Isaiah prophesied in chapter 7 that the birth of the Messiah would be supernatural, from a virgin maiden. The New Testament describes Yeshua’s birth from his mother Miriam, who was a virgin maiden.
What will be the nature of the Messiah?
According to Daniel 7, Isaiah 9 and Zechariah 12, the nature of the Messiah will be like the nature of God Himself: The embodiment of God to mankind. And indeed, the New Testament refers to Jesus as the “Son of God”, one with God and the embodiment of God. Just like “Metatron”, whose character is described hundreds of years after Jesus in the writings of Jewish mysticism and in the Zohar.
Where will the Messiah live?
According to Zechariah 9, the Messiah is to enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey. This teaches us two things: First, the Messiah won’t be some well-born famous rabbi who has millions. Second, he will live in the land of Israel, as he will be riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s back. Merely for the sake of comparison: Chabad’s “King Messiah”, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose yellow posters are plastered on every street corner, was not only not born in Bethlehem, but he never even set foot in either Jerusalem or in Israel. Unlike him, Jesus, who was born and raised here in Israel, did enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
What will He do?
According to Isaiah chapter 35 as well as other prophets in the Old Testament, the Messiah will cure incurable diseases, open the eyes of the blind, heal the disabled, cleanse the lepers, open the ears of the deaf, unbind the tongues of the mute, exorcise demons and even resurrect the dead. And indeed, Jesus cured countless people, exorcised evil spirits and demons and even resurrected the dead.
By the way, the REALLY interesting part is that even the rabbis in the Talmud admitted to the supernatural powers demonstrated by Jesus and His disciples. However, according to them, this was achieved through satanic magical powers. See, for example, what Rabbi Daniel Asor had to say: “Jesus was a false prophet, for he acted only through sorcery. He himself is the embodiment of Satanism.” Truth be told, as early as during the time of Jesus, the rabbis accused Him of performing His supernatural miracles by the power of Satan and in his name. However, Jesus easily refuted their claims when He answered them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself.” [Matthew 12:25-26]
The prophesied response of the people of Israel and the Gentiles
According to Isaiah chapter 53 and Psalm 22, the Messiah will be rejected by His own people as they degrade Him and lead Him to His death. And what about the Gentiles? The book of Jonah makes it clear: The God of our fathers doesn’t belong or is limited only to the nation of Israel, as taught by Rabbinic Halacha. Rather, He loves all of His creation. Yes, yes, even the Gentiles. Just like rabbis nowadays, Jonah the prophet had difficulties accepting this message as well. And indeed, just as God promised Abraham, that from his seed will come a blessing to all Gentiles and in accordance with Psalm 118, the Messiah will be as the stone that the builders rejected, but God will choose that stone of all others to become the cornerstone: The main foundation stone, through which God will build and send out the blessing He promised to all other nations around the world. Since Jesus’s time to this day, millions of Christians believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Thanks to whom? To the rabbis? No. To Jesus, of course.
What about His death? And the purpose for which He came?
According to Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 12, we, the people of Israel, will pierce Him and lead Him to His death by crucifixion, without realizing that we’ve actually pierced the Messiah. But in His grace, God will use that in order to inflict our sins and trespasses upon Him. And indeed, Jesus was crucified as a sacrifice in order to atone for our sins.
These were a few examples out of hundreds of prophecies and parallels in the Bible regarding the Messiah’s character, nature and identity. You can learn more about the prophecies at our website: www.oneforisrael.org. However, we leave you with a challenge: Stop and think for a moment.
Statistically speaking, the probability that these are coincidences, luck or self-fulfilling prophecies is outright impossible. For that matter, let us focus on only three prophetic characteristics in the Messiah’s identity:
- He will be Jewish,
- He will be born in Bethlehem
- and He will die in the year 32 AD.
Even if we were to ignore the other prophecies for a moment and focus on these alone, we would be left with maybe a handful of candidates.
Now, the ball is in your court. Forget traditions, ceremonies, or any other religious rituals that aim to impress God. You have no need for some rabbi to think and decide for you. God created you with a mind and a healthy measure of logic so that you can investigate the prophecies of our Bible for yourselves. After all, up there, no rabbi (or priest) will be around to hold your hand. Up there, it’s just between you and God.