There are four major reasons some rabbis and Jews give for rejecting Jesus as their Messiah and those reasons are as follows:
- Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies of a) Building the third temple as mentioned in Ezekiel 37; b) Gathering all Jews back to Israel as prophesied in Isaiah 43; c) Ushering in world peace as stated in Isaiah 2; and d) Spreading the knowledge of God globally to unite all of humanity under his rule as prophesied in Zechariah 14.
- Jesus did not qualify as a Messiah since the Messiah was supposed to be the greatest prophet during the time when the majority of Jews would inhabit the land of Israel, which hasn’t happened since 300 BCE. Additionally, prophecy ceased during the time of Ezra. The Messiah was supposed to be a normal human with only human parents with only his father as David’s descendant, according to Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5-6; and Ezekiel 34:23-24. Jesus was known to disobey the Torah, which showed he was a false prophet, according to Deuteronomy 13:1-4.
- Bible verses referring to a virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) and a suffering servant (Isaiah 53) were translated incorrectly by Christians. Isaiah 7 refers to a young maiden, not a virgin. Isaiah 53 is talking about the whole nation of Israel as the suffering servant since the context established in Isaiah 52 is the whole nation.
- The revelation of the Messiah is not based on any personal revelation, but on his revealing to every man, woman, and child in Israel collectively and simultaneously as a nation that he is the Messiah. This means the nation of Israel as a whole must create the necessary conditions that are conducive for him to show up.
Therefore, based on all of these points, the Jews who believe a messiah will come use these excuses for their discounting Jesus as Messiah. However, the fact they still hope for a messiah to show up is a contradiction to the 2nd reason listed above. They acknowledge that the messiah will be a prophet, but claim under the 2nd reason that prophecy ended during Ezra’s time. Then how can their future messiah be a prophet?
The rabbis assume Jesus did not fulfill Messianic prophecy because he did not bring the four things mentioned in the 1st reason, claiming there is no second coming and the messiah would have to fulfill those prophecies the first time around. That just isn’t true. There is no prophecy stating those things must be fulfilled at his first coming.
Zechariah 13:7 predicts the death of the Messiah. Zechariah 13:6 implies a second coming when the Messiah will be asked about the wounds in his hands. Zechariah 12:10 says the Jews will look on him whom they pierced. If he comes to explain his wounds and they look on the one they pierced, then that means he came at some time in the past when the wounds were inflicted and now he has returned with the wounds.
Two appearances at separate times of the Messiah are clearly designated in the Old Testament. Isaiah 9:6 says he will be born as a child. Isaiah 7:14 says he will be born of a virgin and Micah 5:2 gives his birthplace as Bethlehem Ephratah. Isaiah 11:11-12 says outright the Messiah will come a second time–”And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
Then Daniel 7:13-14 backs this up when he says, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Prophecy clearly states the Messiah will come the first time through birth and the second time in the clouds, just like the NT says.
Furthermore, Jesus fulfilled many messianic prophecies, in spite of the fact the rabbis deny it.
Their belief under the 2nd reason above, that true prophets only prophesy when the majority of Jews live in Israel, is unfounded since Daniel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel prophesied when most of the Jews were in exile. Jesus not only fulfilled hundreds of messianic prophecies but he gave accurate prophecies of future events to turn Israel to God, which means the marks of a false prophet in Deuteronomy 13 don’t apply to him.
Also under point 2 above, the fact rabbis deny any supernatural ability for the messiah shows they, like their ancestors, don’t know and/or don’t believe the prophets. Isaiah 35:5-6 says the Messiah will heal people. They think Messiah has to be a descendant of David through his biological father, but the scriptures they list under point 2 don’t have anything to do with that idea. That’s an assumption by man-made tradition, not scripture. 1 Chronicles 17:13-14 says the Messiah would be God’s son. It was also understood under Jewish practices that an adopted son held all the rights of any biological son, as in Jesus’ case. God also said in Genesis 3:15 that the one (Messiah) who would come to bruise the serpent’s head would be counted as the seed of the woman, not the man. Jesus descended from David through both Joseph and Mary. God covered all the bases.
Unbelieving rabbis also are wrong to think Jesus didn’t fulfill the Torah. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that he came to fulfill the law, not destroy it, and he did. He did not fulfill the mistaken interpretations and man-made traditions that Jewish leaders tried to pass off as being equivalent to the law and that is what unbelieving rabbis & Jews don’t like about Jesus.
With regards to reason 3 above, Isaiah 7:14 is accurately translated “virgin”, as explained in-depth at this link. Claiming the suffering servant is the whole nation of Israel in Isaiah 53 interprets that scripture out of context. When they refer to Isaiah 52 as only speaking about Israel coming out of captivity, the tone and focus of that chapter changes in verse 13. Isaiah 52:14 makes a human-to-human comparison by claiming “his visage was marred more than any man.” This isn’t speaking of a whole nation, but an individual. In this case, the Messiah. Isaiah 53 also speaks of the suffering servant as someone who would not have any deceit in his mouth (v. 9) and would be a sin offering (v. 10). This can’t refer to the Jewish nation because they are known for being deceitful and the Torah says God only accepts offerings that have no blemish, so the Jewish nation, which is as sinful as any other nation, cannot be a sin offering for anyone.
If we are to believe reason 4 above, then why did the majority of Israel even in the time of Moses reject what God said? Israel’s history from ancient times to today is full of examples where God gives the nation his prophecies and statutes and the majority of the nation rejects the revelations as being false, even killing his prophets. When Jesus came, he and his disciples revealed God’s word and Jesus as the Messiah to all of Israel, but they weren’t interested and attempted to kill the whole movement. So unbelieving Jews’ claim about national revelation is disingenuous.
Also reason 4 highlights the underlying factor hindering Jews from accepting Christ–their belief they must create the right conditions themselves for the Messiah. This is the real reason Jews can’t accept Christ, as Paul stated in Romans 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” But then comes Romans 11:25-26, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”
Source: Rabbi Shragga Simmons. Why Jews Don’t Believe In Jesus. Aish.com.