Tag Archives: Old Testament foretellings of Jesus

Sunday Devotional: The call of God is irrevocable

Matthew 15:21-28

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! 
My daughter is tormented by a demon.” 
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. 
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” 
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.” 
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.” 
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith! 
Let it be done for you as you wish.” 
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

As the above passage from Matthew 15 indicates, Jesus told the Caananite woman — a Gentile — that He was sent only to Israelites, i.e., Jews, not Gentiles. But Jesus was moved and persuaded by the woman’s faith in Him, and so He granted her request and exorcised the demon from her daughter.

That is one of the great mysteries of humankind — why Jews not only rejected Jesus the Christ, despite the many foretellings of His coming in the Torah, the Hebrew Bible and Christianity’s Old Testament, their leaders actually demanded that He be put to death, although Jesus had committed no crime. Not just put to death, but executed by the cruelest method that the Romans reserved for the worst criminals — crucifixion.

All of which raises the question of why most Jews, then and now, refuse to believe that Jesus is who He said He is.

Among the reasons why they don’t, according to the article “Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?,” are:

  • The Jewish Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David, but Jesus was not because Christians say he was the product of a virgin birth and therefore had no father. (Hmm, does that mean Jesus is not Jewish?)
  • Jews don’t believe in miracles: “Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles [as Jesus did], there is still no verification that he is a genuine prophet. Miracles do not prove anything. All they show—assuming they are genuine—is that he has certain powers. It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy. Judaism, unique among all of the world’s major religions, does not rely on ‘claims of miracles’ as the basis for its religion. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of ‘miracles’ to charlatans….” (Hmm, but don’t Jews believe in the miracles of  Moses parting the Red Sea, and the manna from Heaven during the time Moses led Jews wandering in the desert?)

Now you see why the Talmud, the collection of the sayings and writings of rabbis regarded as superior even to the Torah, calls Jesus a “bastard,” “fool” and “charlatan,” His mother Mary a “whore,” and Christians “idolators” and less than human. (See Rev. I. B. Pranaitis, The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians; first published in St. Petersburg in 1892.; and “Truth About the Talmud“.)

Jews really should heed this:

But the rejection by Jews turns out to be to our benefit. As St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, said in Romans 11:11-12, 15, 19-20, 23, 28-29:

But through their transgression
salvation has come to the Gentiles…

their transgression is enrichment for the world…
their rejection is the reconciliation of the world….
Indeed you will say, “Branches were broken off
so that I might be grafted in.”
That is so.
They were broken off because of unbelief,
but you are there because of faith.
So do not become haughty, but stand in awe….
And they also, if they do not remain in unbelief,
will be grafted in,
for God is able to graft them in again….
In respect to the gospel, they are enemies on your account;
but in respect to election,
they are beloved because of the patriarchs.
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.

So if you hear His call, do not harden your heart.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Simeon and Anna recognized the child Jesus as Christ

Malachi 3:1

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

Luke 2:22, 25-38

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord….
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
–and you yourself a sword will pierce–
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

The above passage from Malachi 3 is only one of many foretellings of the coming of Jesus Christ in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), the textual source for the Christian Old Testament.

Some of the other foretellings are:

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Jeremiah 23:5

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Micah 5:2

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Numbers 24:17

there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

Psalm 22:1, 16, 18

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

they pierced my hands and my feet.

Zechariah 9:9

behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah 11:12

So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

All of which raises the question of why most Jews, then and now, refuse to believe that Jesus is Messiah, unlike, as Luke 2 recounted, Simeon and Anna the prophetess in the Temple who immediately recognized the child Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Among the reasons why they don’t, according to the article “Why Don’t Jews Believe In Jesus?,” are:

  • The Jewish Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David, but Jesus was not because Christians say he was the product of a virgin birth and therefore had no father, which would mean Jesus was not descended from David.
  • Jews don’t believe in miracles: “Even if the individual claiming personal revelation performs miracles [as Jesus did], there is still no verification that he is a genuine prophet. Miracles do not prove anything. All they show—assuming they are genuine—is that he has certain powers. It has nothing to do with his claim of prophecy. Judaism, unique among all of the world’s major religions, does not rely on ‘claims of miracles’ as the basis for its religion. In fact, the Bible says that God sometimes grants the power of ‘miracles’ to charlatans….”

Now you see why the Talmud, the collection of the sayings and writings of rabbis regarded as superior even to the Torah — the first five books (Pentateuch or five books of Moses) of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible– calls Jesus a “bastard,” “fool” and “charlatan”; His mother Mary a “whore”; and Christians “idolators” and less than human. (See Rev. I. B. Pranaitis, The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians; and “Truth About the Talmud“.)

Zechariah 7:12

They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prohpets

In his 1991 essay in First Things, “When Jews Are Christians,” David Novak, a Jew, explains that there are three types of Jewish converts to Christianity:

  1. Fake converts: “Secret Jews” who converted to Christianity not out of a genuine belief, but for self-interested opportunistic reasons — to escape persecution (as during the Inquisition), or for social and/or economic gain.
  2. Genuine converts: Jews who sincerely believe Christianity is the true faith, and no longer think of themselves as Jews.
  3. Jewish Christians, aka Messianic Jews: Novak identifies this group as a new kind of Jewish converts to Christianity who believe in Christ but claim to be Jews and practice Judaism, insisting they are practicing the true Judaism. The State of Israel rejects these Jewish Christians or Messianic Jews as Jews. In 1989, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against two Jewish Christians, Jerry and Shirley Beresford, who petitioned for Israeli citizenship as Jews under the Law of Return, which guarantees immediate Israeli citizenship to every Jew. The Court rejected their petition on the grounds that the Law of Return specifically precludes any Jew who has affiliated with another, non-Jewish, religious community, never mind the fact that the Law of Return is applied to Jewish atheists although atheism, arguably, is a form of religion.

Novak takes a different position than the Israeli Supreme Court. Claiming to speak for “normative Judaism,” Novak maintains Jewish Christians are still Jews because:

“Jewish status is defined by the divine election of Israel and his descendants. One does not become a Jew by one’s own volition. Even in the case of converts to Judaism . . . [a] gentile’s choice to become a Jew is a necessary but not sufficient condition of conversion . . . the convert’s choice is not sufficient to make him or her a Jew: it only makes one a candidate for conversion. The actual conversion itself is the act of an authoritative Jewish Tribunal who . . . [l]ike God . . . is under no compulsion to elect, which is to say convert, anyone. Since Jews are elected by God, there is absolutely nothing any Jew can do to remove himself or herself from the Covenant.”

All of that only works if the Jews of today are actually biological descendants of the ancient Hebrews with whom God had made His covenant. The problem is there is compelling DNA evidence that Ashkenazi Jews, who comprise 90% of the world’s (and U.S.) Jews, are biological descendants of the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. See:

Revelation 2:9

I know the blasphemy of them
which say they are Jews, and are not,
but are the synagogue of Satan.

Remember to tell the Triune Godhead you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength, and may the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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