When Jesus was confronted by the religious leadership, He was grilled on a variety of issues in their attempts to discredit Him. In one such encounter, Jesus responded by asking them a question. “What do you think of Messiah? Whose son is He?”
They answered Him, “The Son of David.”
Then He said to them, “Then why does David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, sit on My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool?’ If David then called Him Lord, how is He his Son?’”
Jesus left them speechless (Matthew 22:41-46).
The Lord was showing them several things in this encounter; that the religious knowledge that they were so proud of was insufficient; the Holy Spirit is also necessary in order to reveal the depths of God’s word. They were also being reminded that the Messiah is divine, He is Lord. Additionally, Jesus was directing them to examine His lineage. The Messiah is to be a descendant of David from the tribe of Judah. Therefore, the Messiah is David’s son, in the sense that he was from David’s lineage, his descendant, as was Jesus (Luke 3:23-38).
If the Pharisees had taken the time to do a thorough investigation of Jesus’ origins, they would have discovered that He had been born in Bethlehem as the prophet Micah foretold (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1). His birth was miraculous, He would be born from a virgin* (Isaiah 7:14) and His name would be called symbolically, ‘Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God with us’ (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:22-23).
When the Pharisees were debating Jesus’ origins, they came to the erroneous conclusion that there would be no prophet arising out of the region where Jesus had begun His ministry, which was Galilee (John 7:52). Even though these religious leaders had memorized all the writings of the prophets, they had overlooked the prophecy that the Messiah would emerge from Galilee. –
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined (Isaiah 9:1, 2, Matthew 4:13-16).
This only goes to show that even experts in the law can overlook important details and fail to make the connections necessary in order to understand the truth.
They also should have recognized that according to the scriptures, the Messiah would heal the blind;
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house (Isaiah 42:7).
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind:…(Psalm 146:8).
There are no references in the Old Testament scriptures that record a blind person being healed. The only instances we have in scripture of sight being restored to the blind is in the New Testament. The fact that healing the blind is one of the identifying abilities of the Messiah, the Pharisees should have known immediately that Jesus had to be the Messiah.
They also failed to realize that it was prophesied that their Messiah would come to them riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9), a seat generally reserved for women; those who have been humbled by society. This should have shown them that their king would come to them in great humility, which He did: and also at a time in history when animals were the principle means of transportation.
The Messiah would also come at a time when they had lost their ability to make capital judgments (Genesis 49:10). This is why they had to obtain permission from Pilate to have Jesus put to death.
They also did not realize that they were fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy that the Messiah would be rejected by His own and be killed for the sins of the people (Isaiah 53).
From His hellish perch of crucifixion, Jesus cried the words from David’s prophecy of this event, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”(Psalm 22:1). In the Jewish culture at the time, when the first line of a Psalm was quoted it was understood that the entire Psalm was being referred to. Even in His agony, Jesus was teaching. He was directing them to examine the details of the event they were witnessing. - His hands and feet were pierced as if they had been bitten by dogs (Psalm 22:16). They watched the soldiers cast lots for His clothing (Psalm 22:18, Matthew 27:35).
Through Jesus’ anguished cry, He was quoting scripture from a Psalm that ends in victory. He was sending a message to His persecutors, that even though He was enduring this great affliction and agonizing death, like the Psalm, it would end well. God would not leave His Holy one to see corruption, or rot in the grave (Psalm 16:10). He would live again, rise from the dead as the eyewitness testimonies proclaim. Thus He would see His seed His offspring; (Isaiah 53:10), those who by faith in Him have become adopted into the kingdom of God.
He was rejected by His own people, yet He gathered the Gentiles into His embrace; multitudes through the centuries and approximately 2.5 billion of them around the world today that proclaim Him as their Lord and Savior.
Do you? And if you don’t, what would it take to convince you?
M.B Bleecker (Jan. 25, 1903 October 19, 2002), was an engineer who invented a helicopter prototype and the ram jet engine. He was also a Christian who self-published a little book entitled, “An Engineer Evaluates the Bible.” There are over three hundred prophecies concerning the Messiah Jesus interwoven throughout the Old Testament. Mr. Bleecher took one hundred and fifty of those prophecies that Jesus fulfilled and calculated the odds of His fulfilling those prophecies. The odds of one man fulfilling one hundred and fifty prophecies in one lifetime are one in: -
The odds of Jesus fulfilling just eight of them in His lifetime are one in - 100, 000, 000,000,000,000.
I’m not a mathematician or an engineer, so I can’t define these numbers for you in millions, billions or trillions, I don’t have a clue. But what I do know when I look at these amazing figures is that God, The Ultimate Mathematician, has given us the numbers that point the way to the miracle of Messiah Jesus.
As of this writing, the Jewish people are anxiously awaiting the coming of their messiah. They believe that the third temple must be built in order for him to arrive. They have failed to realize that has already been fulfilled. The prophecy of the messiah coming after a temple is built concerns the building of the second temple as this study has shown.
Let’s not allow ourselves to be deceived by any counterfeits. We are shown very clearly from the scriptures that there would be many false prophets and messiahs that would deceive many (Matthew 24:4,5,11,23 -27; II Cor. 11:14, I John 4:1-3). Today’s technology can produce what some could misconstrue as “miracles.” Holograms can mislead people into thinking their messiah is coming from the sky. Having a close, personal relationship with the Lord now and reading His word, is the best protection from deception a believer can have. Unfortunately the Jews who have rejected the Messiah Jesus/Yeshua, will not have that protection.
Zechariah 11:16, shows us that God will raise up a shepherd in the land, which will not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that stands still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
This is a prophecy of the antichrist that will precede Jesus’ second coming. God will allow the Jews to experience the horrific evil reign of the messiah they have preferred over Jesus. When the Lord returns and eliminates this evil, releasing them from their captivity, they will see the contrast of God’s reign through Jesus of compassion and true justice.
Currently, there is also a massive effort being made to influence Christians to renounce their faith in Jesus and return to Judaism. We need to recognize the importance of Judaism; the system of belief that was designed by God to be tthe womb through which redemption would be birthed for the entire world. But it is just a cocoon; the New Life God has ordained for us through faith in the prophesied Messiah Jesus, has broken free. Christianity is the only faith that enables us to fly into the arms of God when we die. Returning to the cocoon would be disastrous for any butterfly, as it is for all who prefer the smothering darkness of a now empty, yet wonderfully fulfilled religion.
*The word for virgin in the original Hebrew in Isaiah 7:14, is Almah which means a young unmarried woman. That would mean a virgin in the culture at that time. The Jews who translated the Hebrew into the Greek Septuagint rightly understood the word meaning and translated Almah as “virgin.” The same word is also used in the Old Testament Hebrew to describe the virgin, Rebecca.
Copyright 2021 by H.D. Shively
This is an excerpt from our book "Why Jesus has to be the Messiah."
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