Why did (and do) the Jews reject Jesus? Why do they not believe he is the Son of God?
I will explain the Jewish position, as I understand it, having discussed this sensitive matter at length with Jewish friends. Please understand at the outset that I am a Christian. I believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, and the third person of the Trinity (the triune Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit). I believe, as the Bible says, that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and in the essentials of the Gospel, which the Apostle Paul lays out in 1st Corinthians 15.
Simply stated, Jews do not believe Christian claims that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures. In their view, he was an ordinary Jewish man and religious teacher living in First Century Palestine. They say he doesn't meet the Scriptural qualifications set for the Messiah. They are still waiting for the true Messiah.
Take the example of Saul of Tarsus, a learned 1st Century Jew and fervent Pharisee, who arrested and zealously persecuted many early Christians. In his view and that of many of his contemporaries, the Jesus movement was a cult. It wasn't until Saul had a dramatic life-changing encounter with the risen Christ on the Damascus road that he suddenly came to know Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) became the "apostle to the Gentiles," dedicating the next 30 or so years of his life to missionary work in Europe and Asia sharing the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul's Gospel message that the requirements of the Jewish or Old Testament law impose a burden on us that are impossible to meet, and that we are saved by grace by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, seemed antithetical to everything Jews believed. This was a radically new teaching to them. In their view, the law created a bond between them and God.
Although Christianity failed to take hold in Palestine, as its message was either not heard or rejected by many Jews, it grew rapidly gaining elsewhere. Through missionary efforts, Christian churches were planted in Italy, Turkey, Syria, Greece and elsewhere. They began to grow as increasing numbers of Gentiles heard the Gospel message and converted.
It could be argued that the Jewish refusal to accept Jesus as Messiah actually contributed to the establishment and growth of Christianity. Most Jews living during the time of Jesus rejected him. Realizing that their efforts to convert Jews were largely going nowhere, the early Christian leaders, including Paul, James and Peter, decided to focus on sharing the Gospel with the Romans and other pagan nations. These efforts are detailed in the Book of Acts. Thus, Christianity, which until then had been a small, fledgling fringe movement within Judaism, was on its way to becoming a fast growing religion with worldwide reach. Christianity overcame persecution by the Roman authorities, becoming a major force in the development of Western Civilization.
These articles present in more detail the Jewish view of Jesus and are worth consulting if you wish to understand the position of Judaism.
You can find articles answering the same questions from a Christian perspective by doing a Google search. Many at AAG like to consult GotQuestions.ORG, which answers the question: "Why do most Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah?" From CRI, "How to Share the Gospel with Your Jewish Friends," is worth a read.
Thank you so much for your reply. I will read the websites above that you gave. Because I have been thinking about this, the OT writings prophecies about the Messiah, I believe(like Christians do) is Jesus. Are the Jews spiritually blind about this? Is this a mystery? Apostle Paul accepted Jesus because of his extraordinary encounter with Jesus, I think he is chosen.
The Apostle Paul, in Romans 9 through 11, delivers a scathing criticism of Israel's rejection of Christ. In the Book of Acts and in his letter to the Galatians, Paul railed against "Judaizers" within the new Christian church. They were subverting the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The "Judaizers" were working hard to reinstate a works-based salvation tied to observance of Jewish law and rituals, which was contrary to the Gospel that Paul received from Jesus Christ.
Thanks CheerBee for posting this topic and thanks, Colby, for posting the links to where we can find more information. I believe as you do, Colby. However, I do hold the Jewish religion as mysterious, meaning that I do not
understand all that is said on these links. The mystery of the relationship between God and the Jews grows. The answer will be mine when I am at home with the Lord. I pray for Israel and I love the Jewish people as God instructed. With all that Israel faces today, my prayers are for their victory...a victory that was given to them in 1967 and will be given to them again.
One thing I do see, they are guided by the Bible, even if it is only the Old Testament. They adhere to God's Laws. I do believe that they are a special mystery, one to be answered in the hereafter.
Blessings to you both.....
Your question got me looking. Here are some reasons I have found:
Because Jesus did not meet these requirements, from the Jewish perspective he was not the Messiah.
Thank you Rita Cullimore and Taminator, Iam also a Christian and trust Jesus as my Savior. Today I read this passage where Jesus said He is the one the OT speaks about, in Luke 24:44. And I do believe Jesus is the Messiah.
I will share a website of a Jew who is now a Christian and Bible teacher. Here are some interesting debates about Jesus , opponents are the Jewish Rabbis.