Why Do Jews Not Accept JesusQUESTION: Why Do Jews Not Accept Jesus?ANSWER:
The reason Jews do not accept Jesus has nothing to do with historical events. The Inquisition, the Holocaust, the Crusades, the pogroms and the ongoing anti-Semitism so prevalent in "Christian" countries didn't cause or create Jewish rejection of Jesus. These horrifying sins, often inflicted in the name of Jesus, have made evangelism of Jews difficult, if not impossible. They disgrace the name of Jesus, who loves all people, especially His own. They shame the ignorance, hypocrisy, and fanaticism of religious zealots through the ages. But they don't explain Jewish rejection of Jesus.
The reason Jews do not accept Jesus has nothing to do with Christian doctrine, which issues, after all, from Old Testament teachings, figures, symbols, and ceremonies. The Jews, along with Muslims, may deride the doctrine of the Trinity, but the "we" and "us" sections of Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7 indicate at least a duality of persons in the Godhead. And the many Old Testament references to God's Spirit completes the concept of Trinity. Besides, many first century Jews, and Jews in all ages, including ours, have accepted Jesus Christ as God's Son through the enlightenment provided by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Godhead is introduced in Genesis only in the Creation of Man. That stressed humanity's uniqueness and that we take our identity from and find our meaning in the God who made us in His united image.
The Trinity, with other doctrines, made God in Christ a mystery, but not a secret. A Biblical mystery, to be sure, but remember that a Biblical mystery is something kept hidden until the right time came for its revelation. In Christ's birth the mystery God had hidden in His promise of a seed of Eve was revealed in history (Genesis 3:15). Jesus puzzled and silenced the leaders in His last week with His question found in Matthew 22:42,"What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is He?" (And when they replied, "The son of David," Christ's quotation from Psalm 110:1 exposed their inadequate understanding. For the LORD said to David's LORD -- two persons involved: one speaking; the other listening.
The reason Jews do not accept Jesus has everything to do with a spiritual problem innate to Jewish people. The Hebrew patriarchs faithfully, but not perfectly, served God's will. It took Jacob longest to be disciplined into a faithful founder of the nation. The first generation of Hebrews leaving Egypt, however, shattered the pattern established by the patriarchs. This was clear before
the Red Sea crossing (Exodus 14:10-12) almost immediately afterwards,
(Exodus 15:22-24), and throughout the desert wandering until God put a violent end to Korah's rebellion (Numbers 16:1-3, 12-14, 28-35, 17:1-5).
It didn't equip Israel for faithful service to God, however. Moses presciently detected a terrible weakness in the Israelite national character (Deuteronomy 9:1-7). It hadn't been strengthened in the next twenty-five years, despite their protestations of loyalty (Joshua 24:14-20). Their allegiance to God lasted only the lifetime of elders who outlived Joshua (Joshua 24:31, Judges 2:6-7). The next generation in Canaan failed to oust previous inhabitants (Judges 1:27-36), whom God had devoted (Numbers 33:50-56). That began a lamentable cycle of faithfulness followed by recidivism into idolatry, bringing punishment that produced repentance and eventual deliverance, beginning the endless cycle again. Individuals led in the recoveries and David in a national spiritual resurgence, followed by Solomon's spiritual boom to bust reign that put the nation on the skids to captivity.
All the prophets without exception addressed and denounced Israel's slovenly spiritual attitude to God's presence and work. God gave them enormous spiritual treasures, but not the spiritual mind to value them. Isaiah 6:9-13 crystallized that inability. A caveat needs to be sounded at this point, however. God didn't preemptively afflict Israel with spiritual blindness so they couldn't
see -- making Himself to blame for what he held them
personally accountable for. They began their national career in Egypt questioning and doubting God and have continued in that depraved procedure throughout their history.
Which leads to this conclusion: Jewish rejection of Jesus was simply the Jewish people acting in character towards God and his prophets. If they had nationally accepted him, the story of Jesus could be questioned. That they didn't proves Him true to His role as a prophet God sent to Israel -- much more than to be sure, but a prophet nonetheless -- and proves them true as rebels without a cause against God's holy men. God's judicial blindness results when we determine NOT TO BELIEVE (Romans 1:24-27, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). Romans 9-11 discusses this issue in detail, including God's promise to eventually reunite His people with Him through belief in Jesus Christ (Romans 11:25-27). This certainty has never changed, because God's promises to the patriarchs can never be revoked (Romans 11:28-32).