Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Will the Real Messiah Please Stand Up?

I'm going to go ahead and admit it: I love Wikipedia. Although I'm not always assured of it's accuracy, it offers an excellent resource for a cursory introduction to any topic, as well as cited resources where one can find primary research. I was digging on the subjects of Christ this week (which, by the way, offer great examples of how the world in wiki-collaboration will defame Christ and distort the truth), when I stumbled upon this article: Jewish Messiah Claimants.

In a word: fascinating. First of all, of the five so-called messiah claimants prior to Jesus, two were emperors who would have likely claimed the title "Anointed" for political reasons. There is no evidence to support that these men were believed to be, or believed themselves to be, the Jewish Messiah in the covenant sense. Next, Judas son of Hezekiah was himself in the royal family of Judah and would have likely claimed the title "Anointed" for similar political reasons--to emphasize his claim to the throne of David. Finally, Asthrongs and Simon were men of more humble origins, yet their claim to the title "Anointed" was nonetheless political. As they endeavored to lead their Jewish brethren in rebellion, they needed to make strong claims to their authority. What better way than to profess a direct anointing of God?

It should be clear to you by this point, if it was not already, that the term Messiah has not always born such a weighty religious definition as it does in modern context. It has gained a more mystically slanted definition in today's culture as a direct result of a widespread misunderstanding of the term's application to Jesus, and of course, a widespread misunderstanding of who Jesus Himself is.

If you continue down the list of claimants in the Wikipedia article, you'll soon realize that in fact nearly all of the men listed were leading a rebellion of some sort. In order for their plot to succeed, they would need the trust of the people. What better way to trust the people than to call yourself by the same title as the ancient kings?

So did any one on this list really mean "Messiah" in the way we think of the term? Were any of them ever thinking of themselves as more than a temporal king or leader of Israel? Did anyone on the list actually use the word mah to mean the ultimate fulfillment of God's covenant? Well... there was this one guy. You know His name. Jesus!

That's right. Jesus the Christ, the Anointed, the Messiah, was and is the Anointed in a unique way. "Anointed" became a political term in Judea because of the implication of kingship, but Jesus knew that He was Anointed as much more than that. He is King in the line of David. He is the prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-20), and even greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6). He is our high priest, even greater than Aaron (Hebrews 4:14-16).

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  • After reading the Wikipedia stuff, I was provoked by your offer of just a couple days ago: "Will the real messiah please stand up?"
    It would be easier to win the lottery than to get one person to believe one is the real messiah; so for you my question is: "Why?"
    Do you know anyone who genuinely wishes it to happen?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM  

  • I'm not sure I understand the nature of your question, but if you're asking: do I want Christ to return? Yes! Do I really believe that He is the one and only true Messiah in the fullest sense of the term? Yes! Do I know of any others that agree? Thousands, if not Millions!

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At January 22, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

  • I won't say a bad word about Jesus, but he didn't fulfill the requirements according to the Jewish scriptures, and although there are other religions that believe in a Messianic figure, it's a Jewish prophesy, therefore it doesn't matter how many Christians or Muslims believe in him. It's a completely Jewish issue, Christians and Muslims (without necessarily knowing it) are not relevant. It's not a democracy. There was a prophecy, the man is yet to reveal himself. And even if he stood up, would you recognise him if he told you that he wasn't all about Christianity (again, due respect to Jesus, but he ain't it).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 25, 2009 at 1:51 AM  

  • Well, I must disagree with you on two points. First, to say that Jesus is not the Christ is to say a bad word about Him, so you have indeed and will indeed defame Jesus. Secondly, I am very interested in furthering this dialogue with you about Jesus' fulfillment of Jewish prophesy, but I find it puzzling that you have made the claim that He did not fulfill them and yet you have not provided any examples for me to respond to. Could you tell me a little more about the specific prophecies that you feel Jesus has not (or has not promised to upon His return) fulfilled?

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At March 25, 2009 at 8:40 AM  

  • 1. Christianity is not a devine religion. It is a political creation of the Roman Empire designed to control the Jews.

    2. There is no place in Judaism for a messiah that does part of his job, then dies, then comes back and finishes the job.

    3. There are 5 or 6 things that the Jewish messiah must do in order to qualify. These include (off the top of my head) - gather the exiles, build the temple, usher in an era of peace (perhaps preceded by a large war according to some people's interpritation)... and there are others I can't remember right now.

    4. I'm not going to do the research for you, Google to your hearts content. But first, start by understanding that half of what you have been told about Christianity is a bunch of stories stolen from the Jews and the second half is in stark contradiction with the first half. Look if Jesus does return, I'll love him as much as the next guy... but until then, I'm betting on more rational things that don't include people coming back from the dead. The Christian interpritation of the messiah involves supernatural stuff, the Jewish messiah is an emancipated empowered mortal human being who brings about real dramatic change to the real world. I'm betting on the second guy. But you know, we wouldn't even be talking about this issue if it wasn't for a great Jew who sacrificed himself so that his people may live on. Jesus was a great man... to be denied messiahship is not an insult, it is a great credit to him that he was a contender.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 25, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

  • Thank you for your reply. I have taken the time to respond in a full new post here: A Lengthy Response - RE: Will the Real Messiah Please Stand Up

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At March 27, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

  • Thank you for taking the time to comment back so thoroughly. I have addressed these points in a new post:

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At March 30, 2009 at 7:39 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 31, 2009 at 6:56 AM  

  • Jesus was not from the line of King David. Christianity itself states that Joseph was not the physical father of Jesus - thus if Jesus was not from the bloodline of Joseph, he could not have been from the House of David.

    You can't have it both ways. Either Jesus was related to Joseph, and thus from the line of David - or he wasn't.

    Which is it...?

    Either way, it doesn't make Jesus the Jewish messiah. He died *before* fulfilling the 23 Jewish messianic prophecies - thus proving he was NOT the messiah. There is no 'second coming' in Judaism.

    By Anonymous Jew With A View, At May 25, 2009 at 6:10 PM  

  • Christianity does not only trace Joseph's lineage to David, but also Mary's. Compare the lineages provided in both Matthew and Luke. Regardless, adopted as a son by Joseph, Jesus did inherit all lineage rights. Genetic recombination wasn't exactly how the ancients measured lineage.

    Prophecies such as Isaiah 53, Psalm 16:10, et al. make it clear that the Messiah must be killed in order to fulfill His role, yet elsewhere we know He will reign in power. Which is it? A resurrected Messiah is the only option. Nobody's claiming Christ fulfilled all the Jewish messianic requirements... yet!

    By Blogger Nick Carter, At May 26, 2009 at 7:06 AM  

  • Nick,

    I'm afraid I have to correct your comments, because it is only Jewish religious law that gets to define lineage. Nothing else. And adoption does not transform Jesus into part of David's bloodline. Tribal lineage always goes via the father - always has in Judaism. So if Joseph was not the biological father, Jesus was not connected to David.

    Also, it does not state anywhere in the Tanakh that the maschiach 'must be killed'. In fact, this notion contradicts Jewish belief entirely!

    There is no notion of a 'second coming' in Judaism. This is a purely Christian notion. I entirely respect that Christians do believe in a 'second coming' - but Judaism doesn't.

    To qualify as the Jewish maschiach, a man ***must*** fulfill ALL the 23 Jewish messianic prophecies in ONE normal, mortal lifetime.

    By Blogger Jew With A View, At May 26, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

  • im here guys. at 44 i have come to realize that my entire existence has led to this moment. i have much to share but cannot seem to find anyone to listen. it is beginning and somehow i am at the center of this great change that is taking place.

    By Blogger Gary, At December 19, 2009 at 6:09 AM  

  • Hello all: I am going to pose a question regarding dying: If Jesus is not yet dead, can he still be the Messiah?? Don't laugh. Remember Adam in the Tanach was told that he would die if he ate the fruit?? He ate the fruit. According to what Jews believe (Tanach only) G-ods word is true only in the Tanach, and since Adam was told he would die, he will certainly die. The trouble comes in when Adam ate the fruit he did not die on the spot. Adam was probably just as intelligent as you or I , so the fact was that he did not understsand what he thought he knew.Gods word was absolutly true, but he didn't understand why Eve didn't drop over the second she ate. We all know the rest of the story, by really, wouldn't we have come to the same conclusion as Adam?? Fast forward to Jesus. Jesus was told he will conquer death, and that his body will not see decay. He ascended into heaven bodily (unlike most any other mortal). Is he really dead? Is the one " normal" lifetime what you percieve it to be?? Can you absolutely state with certainty that you understsand G-ods way 100%- be careful if you think that (remember Job). My whole point is that I see these 23 points of Messiah over and over again come from well meaning people who declare that Jesus did not fullfil all 23 points in a normal lifetime. If anyone knows absolutely for sure that Jesus' lifetime is absolutely over, then please tell me where his body is now seeing decay. Interstingly enough, there are other humans taken up into heaven who have not yet died... these humans are also mentioned in the Tanach- the only believable word- So we have a problem.... The Tanach talks about other humans who are not yet dead, who have lived past what we consider a normal lifetime. That means either we don't understand what a normal lifetime is (like Adam) or G-od knows something we don't get. By the way, I don't believe that Jesus was God at all, as he never once claimed to be ( God had no problem telling eveyone that he was God in the Tanach). I also have had it up to here with church doctrine dictating what to believe. I used to be Catholic, then Assembly of God, then Messianic, but now I just want the truth. The Tanach, in my view today, is absolutely true. Not the Old testament, but the Tanach, There are differences (If you want the truth). The New Testament is a different animal. I question everything in it (AS SHOULD YOU!!) Remember, there is only one truth. If you question everything and search for the truth, I believe you will be given it, but question everything- don't accept ANYONES regugitated doctrine without checking it out.Remember when you stand before God, excuses about who taught you what won't matter!! QUESTION EVERYTHING!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 5, 2010 at 7:18 AM  

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