Why don't Jewish people accept Jesus as the Messiah?

This is kind of disturbing Since Jews are God’s chosen people. I was listening to Ben Shapiro talk about this and he claims the old testament passages that point to Christ as the Messiah have been misread, and he said he doesn’t believe in the afterlife the way Christians understand it, the resurrection of the body and eternity in heaven. I guess I’ve really never understood exactly what they believe and why…

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Hi Jennifer,

Here are some good news, I’m Jewish and I believe in Jesus.

I love Ben Shapiro and his defense of conservative values, however I disagree with him on messianic matters. Biblical passages that point to the Messiah in the Old Testament have been misinterpreted even by Jesus’ Jewish disciples.

“And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Mark 8:31-33)

There appears to have been a misconception around Jesus’ time that Messiah was to be the figure that was going to break the yoke of the Romans from the necks of the Jews and rule from Jerusalem. Since there are passages that point to a reigning Messianic King, a strong victorious figure, alongside a Messiah as a suffering servant it served as a topic of debate between sages, and sprouted many theories.

As for matters of the afterlife and resurrection of the dead, even in the time of the 2nd Temple there was dispute between different Jewish factions, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Paul even used it to his advantage to blow up his trial.

“Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.” (Acts 23:6-7)

The Talmud is full of examples of debate over Jewish halachic law, and it is said that where 2 Jews have gathered, you’ll hear 3 opinions.

It is important to dissect the objections that he puts forth one by one, as sound arguments have already been made for each of them.

There is also a spiritual reason to Jewish disbelief that we can find in the book of Romans 11:8, "As the Scriptures say, “God has put them into a deep sleep. To this day he has shut their eyes so they do not see, and closed their ears so they do not hear.” However, there is hope, as in the same chapter, Paul writes: “but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say…” (v. 25-26)

I’m only just scratching the surface on this topic. A great resource is Michael Brown’s series of books “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus”.

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Hi Jennifer,

I was widowed in 2007. I had prayed for years for my Jewish husband to be curious and ask me questions about Jesus. It was when I asked him a question about a difficult biblical passage, that he became interested and then asked me questions. We followed Jesus together for decades and attended Messianic events.

During that time my father-in-law, Pa, surprised me by asking pointedly, "Who killed Jesus?
I held my breath and stared at him. “I did.” I whispered.
I was blessed to see his parents became believers and worship our messiah Jesus.

I’m now remarried to the grandson of a rabbi, Both his parents accepted Jesus as Messiah because a believer heard their pain and answered their questions. And all of their descendants are believers.

God is drawing our Jewish brothers and sisters to Himself continually.

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Hi, Jennifer. Another book that you might find helpful is:

Refuting Rabbinic Objections to Christianity & Messianic Prophecies, by Eitan Bar

He shows some of the changes/omissions to Scripture that the rabbis have made in the last thousand years or so, which are aimed at trying to prevent Jews from coming to Jesus. So you get to see how that many religious Jews have been kept in the dark by their leaders, for centuries, as well as the resolution of those distortions.

It might be a good choice sometime for the book reading/discussion forum here.

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We have some good contributions above. Yet the main question has not been specifically answered.

The Jewish objection to Jesus boils down to one point: rejecting Jesus as the Son of God.

By this phrase, Jesus claimed to be God and in Jewish eyes that made Jesus equal with God.

You can see this in the Gospels and especially in John. The ancient Jewish objection to Jesus also solidified around Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God.

The Jewish objection to Jesus has not changed down through the years, but this does not mean that the objection is correct. Nor has it become an impasse. Countless Jewish people have committed themselves to Jesus in the two millennia past—all who have done so have accepted Jesus as the Son of God. Many, many more will accept Jesus as God’s Son, Messiah, Lord & Savior.

I happen to think that Jewish people were and are correct to challenge this matter. This is because, if a Jewish person considers carefully the biblical (OT) material regarding the Messiah & the passages that help interpret Jesus’ life & ministry, they may decide to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord & Savior as countless other Jews have done. Jesus can and will satisfy serious inquiries into His claims.

With respect to Jewish evangelism, Christians should become familiar with the OT, have understanding of the pattern and sentiment of the Jewish use of the OT, and especially be aware of Paul’s discussion of the doctrine of justification by grace through faith which begins with the faith of Abraham.

I really wish we had a written version of Jesus’ discussion on the road to Emmaus, when he covered all that Moses & the Prophets said about how the Messiah must die & be raised again. But we can learn how to do this ourselves if we study the OT (and the NT). This would be great for Christians to understand and for Jews to be challenged to faith in Jesus.

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Yes, Mark, i agree that the primary issue with many Jews is the idea of Yeshua/Jesus being the “Son of God”. The author of the book i mentioned above (“Refuting Rabbinic Objections to Christianity & Messianic Prophecies”) has some of the book material available on-line.

Part of his answer to this objection relates to explaining the term “Son of God”, which is available at:

And the virgin birth of Messiah aspect is well covered at:

Both are very well done, and may be very useful in discussions with Jewish people. I’m still studying it.

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@Riverstone,
This is a little late but a similar question was ask awhile back. This was my response. I think that it will fill in some of the blanks but by no means is it definitive. My personal reading has shown me that Judaism it not cut and dried,

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Ya I listen to Shapiro a lot too. He’s a perfect example of how conversion to Christ is not purely an intellectual question.

I sympathize a bit with his traditional view that Messiah would be a political leader/conqueror/restorer of the Jews, (which is exactly what he is… later…,) because the disciples of Jesus’ day (and John the Baptist you could say too) seemed to have a similar expectation. It’s too bad though, because that means the correction of that incomplete view has already been narrated, in the NT no less…

“When Messiah comes, I’ll just have one question for him…‘Have you been here before?’”. -Dennis Prager

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Daniel, regarding:

“When Messiah comes, I’ll just have one question for him…‘Have you been here before?’”. -Dennis Prager

I wonder if He might say in loving response, “I tried to tell you that before, but you didn’t want to listen.”

A large part of it has to do with the fact that ancient Jewish people didn’t accept Jesus and that was because of a false image the people had of the Messiah. They expected him to be a warrior and bring justice to those above them at the time (the Romans).
I remember reading this historical novel, and when one the rebels hears of Jesus he goes “we need to get this man on a horse and in front of an army.”
They expected the Messiah to bring Earthly changes, establish an Earthly kingdom, and overthrow their Earthly enemies.

Like the rich young man who saw Jesus as a good teacher, but not as God, the Pharisees weren’t very spiritual in their view of who Jesus was.

Also, many Jewish people see Jesus as someone who came to overthrow the law and make himself a replacement to it. But Jesus says in the book of Matthew that he came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it.

Thank you all for shedding more light on this subject!

I just finished reading a fantastic, brand-new book, which i believe will lead many non-believing Jews (and gentiles, too, of course) to their Messiah. It is titled “The Oracle” by a Messianic rabbi, Jonathan Cahn.

He shows, in great detail, the intricate way God has been in ultimate control of history, especially with regard to the Jewish people and Israel/Jerusalem. It will amaze you when you see the extraordinary interconnectedness of major events (and people) of the past (and the present), and how they tie into the future!

Your Bible will come even more alive…