I can find prophecies in the Bible that point to Muhammad just as easily as you can find prophecies that point to Jesus. That’s because all of your so-called proofs are either distortions, make-believe creations, or Jewish midrash—free, homiletical interpretations—of the worst kind.
Really? Then why didn’t the Muslims find Muhammad everywhere in the Hebrew Bible? Why did they have to completely rewrite their own version of the Scriptures (i.e., the Koran) instead of referring back to the Hebrew Bible—the Word of God accepted by both Christians and Jews? And where does the Tanakh point to Muhammad’s place of birth, or the time of his coming, or the manner of his death, or his alleged ascension to heaven? (Remember, the Hebrew Scriptures point to the place of Yeshua’s birth, the time of his coming, the manner of his death, and his resurrection!) I also remind you that modern scholars—both Jewish and Christian—recognize that the authors of the New Testament were highly sophisticated in their interpretive techniques (see vol. 4, 5.1). Sorry, but you’ll have to do better. Objections like this are hardly worthy of the name.
I want to appeal to you, Jewish reader, in the words of the Lord as spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Come now, let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18a). Can I ask you to hear me out?
Maybe you’ve had many objections to the Messiahship of Jesus, believing that he really didn’t fulfill the Messianic prophecies. But now you’ve seen each of these objections answered, systematically and comprehensively. Still, you’re hesitant to believe. After all, generations of our people have rejected Jesus as Messiah, and it has only been a small Jewish minority that has acknowledged him as our promised Redeemer and King. But what if the minority is right? This would not be the first time such a thing has happened in our history! And what if God has not given us eyes to see and ears to understand until this day? What if now, in this day, the light is beginning to dawn, and little by little, more and more of our people are putting their faith in Yeshua as God’s anointed one? What if this very thing was prophesied in the new covenant Scriptures? Well, it is!
The Jewish teacher Saul of Tarsus (known to most of the world as the apostle Paul) explained to Gentile followers of Jesus who were living in Rome that “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom. 11:25). In other words, for the better part of two thousand years, most of our Jewish people have experienced a degree of spiritual blindness when it comes to recognizing the Messiah. This is similar to what happened to our people when the nation of Israel came out of Egypt: We saw God’s miracles, we heard God’s voice, but we really didn’t understand. As Moses said to that generation, “But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear” (Deut. 29:4). And then the light went on, and God opened the eyes of a nation. At last they saw and understood!
This will happen again to the people of Israel before the Messiah returns. As Paul explained to the Roman believers, “the full number of Gentiles [will] come in” (meaning that a vast number of Gentiles from every tribe and language and people will turn to God and put their faith in Yeshua), and then “all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins’ ” (Rom. 11:26–27, citing Isa. 59:20–21). There will be a mass turning of the Jewish people to Yeshua the Messiah, and just as there has been a national, Jewish rejection of Jesus, there will be a national, Jewish acceptance of Jesus.
You see, many of our forefathers were guilty of rejecting Yeshua the Messiah when he came—despite his miracles, despite his sinless character, despite his atoning death, despite his glorious resurrection. And this set the pattern for the generations to come, as the children followed in the footsteps of their fathers, rejecting Yeshua because “Jews don’t believe in Jesus.” To make matters even worse, many hypocritical Gentiles who claimed to be Messianic believers (= Christians) were terrible examples, living compromised lifestyles and even persecuting Jews who didn’t believe in Jesus. This only confirmed to our Jewish people that this Jesus was not for them.
Yet in spite of all this, there has always been a remnant of our people who have rightly recognized our Messiah, sometimes numbering more than one hundred thousand Jews in a generation. That is the case today, and the number of Jews who believe in Jesus is rising every year, even among the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox. And in direct parallel to this is the ever-increasing number of Gentiles who are genuinely turning to Jesus—and I mean genuinely. (One of the clearest signs that these Gentiles are becoming true followers of Jesus is the fact that many of them are deeply devoted to the people of Israel, praying for them, fasting for them, supporting them in the Land, and standing with them when much of the world stands against them.)
Now the time has come for us to stop and think. Could it be that this Jesus Christ is really Yeshua our Messiah? Could it be that we have been wrong in rejecting him as our anointed leader? Could it be that now, in our generation, that great turning back will begin to take place, and our eyes will be opened en masse? I close this volume with A PLEA TO THE JEWISH COMMUNITY TO RECONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT YESHUA (JESUS) OF NAZARETH IS OUR PROMISED MESSIAH AND REDEEMER. Consider the facts:
- No other worthy Messianic candidates have arisen in the last two thousand years. The positive world influence of Yeshua the Jew totally dwarfs the positive world influence of every other alleged Messianic candidate, including the most recent candidate, Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
- Yeshua fulfilled the essential prophecies that had a definite time frame and that had to be completed before the Second Temple was destroyed. This is not a matter of speculation. It is a matter of historical fact. And since he fulfilled the past prophecies (coming as our great High Priest, making atonement for our sins), we can be sure that he will fulfill the future prophecies (reigning as the worldwide King and bringing peace to the earth).
- He identifies with us in our suffering. For most of our history, we have been cast out, despised, rejected, and misunderstood. That is a picture of our Messiah too! Yeshua is the ultimate example of the suffering, persecuted Jew. He is not only one of us; he is one with us.
- More than one hundred thousand Jews around the world recognize Yeshua as the Messiah, including a rapidly growing underground movement of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews who are convinced by the Scriptures that he is the one. Messianic Jews can no longer be ignored or disregarded, and we are merely the firstfruits of something much larger—the national turning of Israel to our Messiah and King.
- Every day, thousands of people around the world are coming to the God of Israel through Yeshua. The fullness of the Gentiles is coming in, and on the heels of that, all Israel shall be saved. So it is written, and so it shall be.
And so I appeal to my Jewish people to take time to reconsider the Messianic claims of Yeshua of Nazareth. And I appeal to every individual Jew reading this book to seek God, study the Scriptures, put all biases and fears aside, and decide for yourself: Who is this man Jesus? This is a question you can’t avoid.
I leave you with the words of Isaiah. Of whom does the prophet speak?
See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
and his form marred beyond human likeness—
so will he sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Brown, M. L. (2003). Answering Jewish objections to Jesus, Volume 3: Messianic prophecy objections (184). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.