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A Response To Asher Norman’s Book: ‘26 Reasons Why Jews Don’t Believe In Jesus’

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Reason 8:  Six Tasks of the Messiah – who will complete them?

 

Asher Norman, in his book ‘26 Reasons why Jews don’t believe in Jesus,’ states that there are six tasks which the Messiah has to accomplish:

 

1. Have the correct genealogy by being descended from King David and King Solomon.

2. Be anointed King of Israel.

3. Return the Jewish people to Israel.

4. Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

5. Bring peace to the world and end all war.

6. Bring knowledge of God to the world.

 

He says that anyone who has not done these six things cannot be the Messiah.  Therefore Jesus is not the Messiah. He says that we will know when the Messiah has come when someone has succeeded in doing all of this.

 

Asher Norman is following the teaching of Maimonides (who lived from 1135 to 1204).  He said the Messiah has to show that He is Messiah by completing the following three tasks:

 

 

Following this it is said that he will bring about a perfect world:  ‘He will then perfect the entire world, motivating all the nations to serve God together, as it is written, I will make the peoples pure of speech so that they will all call upon the Name of God and serve him with one purpose.’ Maimonides Hilchos Melachim 11.1 from the Mishneh Torah.

 

Two questions to this.

 

 

Answers to this.

 

How is Messiah going to do all this?

 

Most Jewish people I know when spoken to about the Messiah coming, reply ‘Not in my lifetime.’  The possibility of anyone who is a great world religious leader accomplishing the six items required of Messiah in Asher Norman’s list is near to zero.  This does not mean that we believe they will not happen for the reason that they will not be accomplished by a great world religious leader, but by the supernatural divine intervention of the Messiah Yeshua as King of kings and Lord of lords at the end of this age (which given current events which line up with biblical prophecies of the end of days is not too far off).  But let us first consider the prospects of a purely human Messiah accomplishing this.

 

 

Concerning these six items we believe they will come to pass, but only through a supernatural intervention of God as the Messiah returns with all the power of God at His disposal to take up His reign on earth:

 

‘Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.   And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. … Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You.  … And the LORD shall be King over all the earth.  In that day it shall be — “ The LORD is one,” and His name one.’   Zechariah 14.3-4, 5, 9.

 

‘Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He shall reign forever and ever!”’   Revelation 11.15

 

‘Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.’  Revelation 19.11-16.

 

When this event happens the Messiah will do all that Asher Norman says He will do and more.  He will indeed:

 

This list is by no means complete!

 

Significantly some of these prophecies to be found in the Hebrew prophets are not included in the Jewish Messianic view held by Asher Norman and others, because they can only be accomplished by one who is more than ‘a great man’ as Judaism holds the Messiah to be.  In fact they can only be fulfilled by God. Maimonides says that the ‘lion (or the wolf) lying down with the lamb’ of Isaiah 11 and 65 is to be understood symbolically as Israel (the lamb) living in peace with the ferocious Gentile nations (the lion).   So he is claiming that this prophecy is non-literal whereas the prophecy about the Jewish people returning to the land of Israel and the nations not studying war any more is to be taken literally. The verses about the lion and the lamb are in the same chapter in Isaiah (11.6-9) as the verses about the ‘Root of Jesse’ (i.e. Messiah ben David) recovering ‘the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth’ (11.10-12).

 

It is more logical to believe that there will be a literal fulfilment of these prophecies because the one who causes them to happen is the Messiah who is also ‘God with us’, a divine person.  The New Testament book of Revelation supplies some information that is lacking in the Hebrew Prophets concerning this period, which is that it will last for 1000 years (the Millennium) and that during this time Satan will be bound and unable to influence the nations (Revelation 20.1-6). The possibility of any of this happening without the rule of God is zero.  For more information on this go to our article ‘The Messianic Kingdom or the Millennium.’

 

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