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Thread: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

  1. #1
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    Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    At first glance, I would definitely say of course. But rather than defend this position since it seems obvious by the preponderant amount of Scripture supporting Jesus as the Messiah to the Jews (i.e. He came for the lost sheep of Israel, etc. etc.); I have asked the question because it seems by reading transcripts from John Hagee's book: Defense of Israel, he is making the point that Jesus did not come as Messiah to the Jewish people.

    I have not read Hagee's book so I cannot definitively say he says this but the quotes from the book seem to indicate he believes this view. I like John Hagee and listen to his program often (though I do not agree with his eschatology or his over emphasis on politics). Is he preaching dual covenants (one for the Jew and one for the Greek); or am I reading the review wrong? Someone who has read or knows this book, please help me understand the reasoning.

  2. #2

    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    First, to answer your title question: 'Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?'

    Yes. The word 'Christ' (christos) is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word 'Messiah' (moshiach). They mean the exact same thing: 'Anointed One'. By definition, for Jesus to be called 'the Christ' is the same thing as to call him 'the Messiah'. The entire concept behind calling Jesus 'the Christ/Messiah' comes right out of the Hebrew Scriptures, in which God promised that he would raise up a descendant of David to be the Messiah for Israel, and that this Messiah would restore the Kingdom and cause God's name to be known among the Gentiles. This is exactly what we see Jesus doing in the gospels and through his Apostles in the book of Acts.



    Regarding John Hagee's book, his claims, at least in the video promoting his book, were lies. (I'm being blunt, because I can't stand blatant untruth.) Some of his claims include:

    1. '[The book] Scripturally proves that the Jewish people as a whole did not reject Jesus as messiah.'

    This is quite the opposite. In the gospels we see many Jews following Jesus, but the vast majority rejected him. At his trial before Pilate, the only reason Pilate had Jesus crucified was because the majority of Jews were calling out for Jesus' death. Throughout Acts we see an increasing resistance by Jewish communities to the growth of the Church. Part of Paul's purpose in Romans was to explain why it seemed that the people of Israel had overwhelmingly rejected their Messiah and what it meant regarding their salvation. This does not mean 'the Jews' are inherently antichrist. After all, Paul and the Apostles and most of the first generation of the Church were Jews. But it is absolutely true to say that the majority, sadly, rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Even still, Paul and the Apostles held out hope that the Jews (as well as any person alive) will receive the gospel with an open heart.

    2. 'It will also prove that Jesus did not come to earth to be the messiah.'

    It is mind-boggling just how bold of a lie this is. First, John Hagee shows he is either completely ignorant of or disbelieves John 4.25-26, in which a Samaritan woman says, 'I know that the Messiah is coming', to which Jesus responds, 'I who speak to you am him.' Jesus claimed to be the Messiah.

    Even aside from explicit examples like that, remember that 'Christ' means 'Messiah', and both terms translate to mean 'Anointed One'. Within the Hebrew Scriptures, to be 'anointed' meant one was anointed with oil to serve as either a king or a priest. Within the Prophets, as noted above, the term 'Christ/Messiah' carried the specific idea of a descendant of David who would reign upon the throne of Israel. In other words, the 'Christ/Messiah' is the King.

    Again, what do we see? Jesus claiming to be the King. In John 18.33-38, Pilate asks Jesus, 'So you are a king?' to which Jesus replies, 'You say that I am king. For this purpose was I born and for this purpose I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.' Jesus claimed to be the King/Christ/Messiah, and that it was the exact reason for which he came to the earth.

    There are other passages in the New Testament that describe how Jesus' death was his greatest act as the Messiah/Christ/King, and that God had determined Jesus' death should happen before he had even created the world. If Jesus' death was determined before the world began, and then Jesus shows up and dies, and his death was his greatest act as the Messiah/Christ/King, then it inherently means that Jesus 'came to earth to be the Messiah'.

    3. 'Since Jesus refused by word and deed to be the messiah...'

    Again, this is a outright falsehood. Above we see two explicit examples in which Jesus claimed to be the Messiah/Christ/King. There are several more times where he confirms, not refuses, 'by word ... to be the messiah'.

    At other times, all we need to do is look at Jesus' actions and see if they confirm whether he is the Messiah. The first passage to come to mind, one which John Hagee has apparently ignored or overlooked:

    Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?' And Jesus answered them, 'Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.'

    John the Baptist has sent his own followers to Jesus to ask him to confirm whether or not he is the Christ/Messiah/King. And what is Jesus' response? That if they look at Jesus' actions, they will see that it confirms that he is the Christ/Messiah/King.

    4. 'How can the Jews be blamed for rejecting what was never offered?'

    We have to be careful here. Hagee seems to be saying that Christians generally claim all Jews ever are to 'blame' for rejecting Jesus as the Messiah/Christ/King. At least in the video, Hagee is setting up a straw man: Christians think all Jews are to 'blame' for Jesus' rejection, and hence his death. Then, Hagee can swoop in to save the reputation of the Jews in his book: not all Jews are to 'blame'.

    Within Scripture, the indictment of 'blame' for rejecting Jesus is leveled solely against the original generation that did the rejecting. (And they did reject Jesus as the Messiah/Christ/King; e.g. Matthew 27.42.) The 'blame' does not rest on all Jews ever (i.e. beyond the original generation, it is not as if God has cursed the Jewish people; they are his chosen people, and he upholds his Covenant with them), and neither was it solely the Jews who were to 'blame' to begin with: the Romans had a hand in that rejection as well. It was Pilate who said, 'Okay, kill Jesus.' It was hundreds of Roman rulers who persecuted the Church for proclaiming Jesus as the Christ/Messiah/King.

    But even still, the point is that the overwhelming majority of the generation of Jews who originally rejected Jesus were 'offered' that Jesus was the Messiah. This is crystal clear in the gospels and Acts, the least of which are the times when Jesus said something to the effect of, 'I was sent to the lost sheep of Israel', or 'Go only into Israel', or 'You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea', and so on.

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    This is quite the opposite. In the gospels we see many Jews following Jesus, but the vast majority rejected him.
    In the interest of accuracy I feel compelled to disagree with this statement.

    In the first century there were about 6 million Jews in the world.

    Let's say that 60,000 Jews heard Jesus speak during his years of ministry. I think that's a fair estimate.

    That means that 99% of the Jews in the world never heard him.

    So if they rejected him, it was passive, because they didn't know who he was.
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

  4. #4

    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    That's true. I should clarify what I said as, 'the vast majority who heard about him rejected him'.

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    In the interest of accuracy I feel compelled to disagree with this statement.

    In the first century there were about 6 million Jews in the world.

    Let's say that 60,000 Jews heard Jesus speak during his years of ministry. I think that's a fair estimate.

    That means that 99% of the Jews in the world never heard him.

    So if they rejected him, it was passive, because they didn't know who he was.

    Maybe the point is, not so much about the Jews as individuals, but the Jews as a nation under leadership. IOW, the leadership rejected Jesus. For example, in our country, the government rejects something big time, but not everyone in the country rejects what the government rejects. Whom do you think is likely going to trump in the end? My guess would be the government. So IOW, the rejection of Christ by the Jews 2000 years ago is being based on the government's decision at the time, so to speak.

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    That's true. I should clarify what I said as, 'the vast majority who heard about him rejected him'.
    Ah, now I can love all your posts again.
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by divaD View Post
    Maybe the point is, not so much about the Jews as individuals, but the Jews as a nation under leadership. IOW, the leadership rejected Jesus.
    What leadership?

    Herod, who wasn't Jewish?

    The High Priest, a Roman toady Saducee whom the people didn't even respect?
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    What leadership?

    Herod, who wasn't Jewish?

    The High Priest, a Roman toady Saducee whom the people didn't even respect?


    Maybe you have a point there. Maybe I'm confusing the Jews that became a nation in the 1940s to those of the Jews 2000 years ago that are in the same land as now. I guess today they would be their own government. 2000 years ago they would have been under another government. But still, I would think that it had to do something with leadership somehow, but maybe not.

  9. #9
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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    First, to answer your title question: 'Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?'

    Yes. The word 'Christ' (christos) is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word 'Messiah' (moshiach). They mean the exact same thing: 'Anointed One'. By definition, for Jesus to be called 'the Christ' is the same thing as to call him 'the Messiah'. The entire concept behind calling Jesus 'the Christ/Messiah' comes right out of the Hebrew Scriptures, in which God promised that he would raise up a descendant of David to be the Messiah for Israel, and that this Messiah would restore the Kingdom and cause God's name to be known among the Gentiles. This is exactly what we see Jesus doing in the gospels and through his Apostles in the book of Acts.



    Regarding John Hagee's book, his claims, at least in the video promoting his book, were lies. (I'm being blunt, because I can't stand blatant untruth.) Some of his claims include:

    1. '[The book] Scripturally proves that the Jewish people as a whole did not reject Jesus as messiah.'

    This is quite the opposite. In the gospels we see many Jews following Jesus, but the vast majority rejected him. At his trial before Pilate, the only reason Pilate had Jesus crucified was because the majority of Jews were calling out for Jesus' death. Throughout Acts we see an increasing resistance by Jewish communities to the growth of the Church. Part of Paul's purpose in Romans was to explain why it seemed that the people of Israel had overwhelmingly rejected their Messiah and what it meant regarding their salvation. This does not mean 'the Jews' are inherently antichrist. After all, Paul and the Apostles and most of the first generation of the Church were Jews. But it is absolutely true to say that the majority, sadly, rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Even still, Paul and the Apostles held out hope that the Jews (as well as any person alive) will receive the gospel with an open heart.

    2. 'It will also prove that Jesus did not come to earth to be the messiah.'

    It is mind-boggling just how bold of a lie this is. First, John Hagee shows he is either completely ignorant of or disbelieves John 4.25-26, in which a Samaritan woman says, 'I know that the Messiah is coming', to which Jesus responds, 'I who speak to you am him.' Jesus claimed to be the Messiah.

    Even aside from explicit examples like that, remember that 'Christ' means 'Messiah', and both terms translate to mean 'Anointed One'. Within the Hebrew Scriptures, to be 'anointed' meant one was anointed with oil to serve as either a king or a priest. Within the Prophets, as noted above, the term 'Christ/Messiah' carried the specific idea of a descendant of David who would reign upon the throne of Israel. In other words, the 'Christ/Messiah' is the King.

    Again, what do we see? Jesus claiming to be the King. In John 18.33-38, Pilate asks Jesus, 'So you are a king?' to which Jesus replies, 'You say that I am king. For this purpose was I born and for this purpose I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.' Jesus claimed to be the King/Christ/Messiah, and that it was the exact reason for which he came to the earth.

    There are other passages in the New Testament that describe how Jesus' death was his greatest act as the Messiah/Christ/King, and that God had determined Jesus' death should happen before he had even created the world. If Jesus' death was determined before the world began, and then Jesus shows up and dies, and his death was his greatest act as the Messiah/Christ/King, then it inherently means that Jesus 'came to earth to be the Messiah'.

    3. 'Since Jesus refused by word and deed to be the messiah...'

    Again, this is a outright falsehood. Above we see two explicit examples in which Jesus claimed to be the Messiah/Christ/King. There are several more times where he confirms, not refuses, 'by word ... to be the messiah'.

    At other times, all we need to do is look at Jesus' actions and see if they confirm whether he is the Messiah. The first passage to come to mind, one which John Hagee has apparently ignored or overlooked:

    Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?' And Jesus answered them, 'Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.'

    John the Baptist has sent his own followers to Jesus to ask him to confirm whether or not he is the Christ/Messiah/King. And what is Jesus' response? That if they look at Jesus' actions, they will see that it confirms that he is the Christ/Messiah/King.

    4. 'How can the Jews be blamed for rejecting what was never offered?'

    We have to be careful here. Hagee seems to be saying that Christians generally claim all Jews ever are to 'blame' for rejecting Jesus as the Messiah/Christ/King. At least in the video, Hagee is setting up a straw man: Christians think all Jews are to 'blame' for Jesus' rejection, and hence his death. Then, Hagee can swoop in to save the reputation of the Jews in his book: not all Jews are to 'blame'.

    Within Scripture, the indictment of 'blame' for rejecting Jesus is leveled solely against the original generation that did the rejecting. (And they did reject Jesus as the Messiah/Christ/King; e.g. Matthew 27.42.) The 'blame' does not rest on all Jews ever (i.e. beyond the original generation, it is not as if God has cursed the Jewish people; they are his chosen people, and he upholds his Covenant with them), and neither was it solely the Jews who were to 'blame' to begin with: the Romans had a hand in that rejection as well. It was Pilate who said, 'Okay, kill Jesus.' It was hundreds of Roman rulers who persecuted the Church for proclaiming Jesus as the Christ/Messiah/King.

    But even still, the point is that the overwhelming majority of the generation of Jews who originally rejected Jesus were 'offered' that Jesus was the Messiah. This is crystal clear in the gospels and Acts, the least of which are the times when Jesus said something to the effect of, 'I was sent to the lost sheep of Israel', or 'Go only into Israel', or 'You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea', and so on.

    I agree completely with your arguments. What I am looking for is a defense of Hagee's defense. I can't understand his reasoning. He is a man of the Word, how could he have completely missed it on this one? He must have people who agree with him on this point, otherwise the book would never sell any copies and he would have been branded heretical. I need someone who has read the book and can argue Hagee's side.

  10. #10

    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris
    Ah, now I can love all your posts again.
    Haha, I have you to thank for the correction.

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by divaD View Post
    Maybe you have a point there. Maybe I'm confusing the Jews that became a nation in the 1940s to those of the Jews 2000 years ago that are in the same land as now.
    Jews have the reputation for being...argumentative. There's the saying about "two Jews, three opinions" and such. I think it's true today and one can't read the Talmud, (or the NT for that matter) and not conclude that the same was true 2000 years ago.

    In any case I don't think that most Jews back then looked up to the establishment leadership in general. Herod wasn't Jewish, and when he wasn't busy building things he was busy massacring people- including members of his own family. The High Priest was appointed by whomever bribed the Romans the most and because they were usually Saducees they got rituals wrong. (One mistake during the holiday of Sukkot got him pelted with etrogim by irate worshippers. ) The only leadership respected by the people were the Pharisees, who were the people. Most were working class, many were poor. They made legal rulings as leniently as possible, and in general attempted to follow the spirit and not the letter of the law. If you think that sounds like Jesus, you're right.
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Jews have the reputation for being...argumentative.

    Clearly no Christian could ever be a Jew then, since we don't have a reputation like that. You know us, rarely will you see us arguing less than a million times in a row about the exact same thing all one million times. Nope...no reputation for being argumentative when it comes to Christians.

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by divaD View Post
    Clearly no Christian could ever be a Jew then, since we don't have a reputation like that.
    Umm have I offended in some way?
    As for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, from now on and forever," says the LORD.


    Isaiah 59:21

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    What about the sanheidren? (spelt wrong.) the 70 elders were the leaders. No?

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    Re: Did Christ come as a Messiah to the Jewish People?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Umm have I offended in some way?


    Why do you ask that? My post was not sarcastic in the least. I knew I should have added a smiley or something to the end of that. So I'll add 2 here then, one for the last post, and one for this one. It seems that when I'm trying to be somewhat funny, I'm not. And when I'm not trying to be funny, I am. But any way, in no way shape or form did you offend me period.

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