Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 27, 2018

Objections to Jesus as Messiah

Three prominent objections to Jesus as Messiah are:

  1.  God will never come in human form
  2.  There is no precedent for the Messiah to come twice and
  3.  Justification by faith alone and a Pauline anti Torah mindset

The first point is correct.  God (the Father) didn’t and will never come to earth in human form.  “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  1 John 4:12

The apostle John never saw God?!?  Didn’t he see Jesus??  Yes, but Jesus isn’t God, he’s the son of God, a separate person.  Can the immortal God die?  No, yet Jesus really died.  The Messiah is not God, but ‘god’, lower case.  Remember his argument with the Pharisees:

 “I and the Father are one.”  Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”  “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”  Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’?  If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?  Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.  But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”  Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.”  John 10:30-39

Notice that Jesus did not claim to be God, but God’s son.  He did insinuate that he was a ‘god’.  As the Psalmist says:

“God presides in the great assembly;
    he renders judgment among the “gods”:

“How long will you defend the unjust
    and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
    They walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

“I said, ‘You are “gods”;
    you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die like mere mortals;
    you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
    for all the nations are your inheritance.”  Psalm 82

The psalmist talks about many ‘gods’; Jesus claims to be at least like one of these.

With regard to point 2, there is precedent in scripture for the Messiah to come twice.  Joseph came ‘twice’ as did Moses.  Joseph was ‘killed’ in the pit, but ‘raised’ from the dead.  Then sold off to a distance country for a long time.  Then raised to second in command, only second to God (Pharaoh).  Moses went up the mountain twice to get the stone tablets with the law etched on them, interrupted by the golden cafe incident, similar to the apostasy of the church after Jesus first brought the law.

And to the third point, Paul does ascribe salvation to faith alone, but he is not against works.  He’s also not anti Torah as some believe, but against legalistic observance of Torah.  Nobody will ever save themselves by Torah since no one can keep it perfectly (except somebody named Yeshua).  Jesus himself said, ““Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”  Matthew 5:17-18

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