Jewish Beliefs on JesusQUESTION: What are Jewish beliefs on Jesus?ANSWER:
Many people find it difficult to understand how Christians and Jews can have such different beliefs about Jesus.
The man Christians see as the Messiah, Savior of humanity, Redeemer of all our sins, is seen by Jews as a false prophet who came to turn humanity away from God's true path.
The conflict is often as much about timing as it is about truth.
Jews say that Jesus failed to fulfill biblical prophecies that he would build a third temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28); that he would gather all Jews back to the land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6); that he would usher in an era of world peace (Isaiah 2:4) and that he would unite humanity as one (Zechariah 14:9).
Christians counter that the third temple could be symbolized by Christ's body, where all our sins were sacrificed once for all and that the rest of the prophecies will be fulfilled when Jesus returns in glory as predicted in the Book of Revelation.
Many of the Jewish beliefs on Jesus stem from the fact that they believe the Bible has been mis-translated in some instances attributed to Jesus.
It is important to remember that Jews - especially Jews who rejected Jesus' claim to be Messiah - were those Jesus often singled out for rebukes. The Pharisees were experts in Old Testament law, yet were referred to by John the Baptist as a "brood of vipers" (Matthew 3:7). They often plotted to ask Jesus "trick" questions to trap Him into errors. Finally, "the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus" (Matthew 12:14).
The Old Testament speaks of dealing with false prophets. Deuteronomy 13 specifically speaks of killing false prophets who try to lure followers to other Gods. To the Jewish scholars who believe Jesus is not the Messiah, His claims to the contrary become a death sentence. Deuteronomy 13:3 says in such instances, ". . . The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul."
Of course, Christians know Jesus was God in human form. Therefore His claims were true and ultimately all the prophecies will be fulfilled.
What makes it even hard for the follower of Jesus to understand is the fact that we know Jesus. He lives in us, informs our decisions. His Holy Spirit transforms us gradually into His likeness.
In light of that, these scholarly debates about translations of Scripture and interpretations of law may fall on deaf ears.