Question by mouthbreather77: Is the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. wrong? Did you see him on ABC World News Tonight last night?
The story was about the alliance between Israelis and the evangelical Christians because they believe the end of the world has begun. The Israeli ambassador said that Jews don’t have to believe in Jesus until the Messianic age. He said Jews will ask the Messiah “are you coming or returning?” and that “until then we don’t know whether the world will be Christian or Jewish”.
Answer by Daniel ben Yeshia
Both believe in a Messiah.
I even had a friend who recently returned from Jerusalem and was praying at the Kotel (Wailing Wall) who said he overheard another man pray “O L-rd, send Messiah now! O Messiah come quickly, even if you are Jesus”. Obviously, he doesn’t speak for the majority of Judaism, nevertheless the feeling is there.
Judaism believes in 2 Messiahs. The first is Messiah ben Joseph (Messiah the son of Joseph) who would be like Joseph in Egypt, but would be killed. Joseph, if you recall was hidden from his brothers, they thought he was Tzafnaspenach, an Egyptian. And yet, even when his identity was hidden from them, he still saved them from the 7 years of famine. (Compare to the Christians 7 years of Tribulation.) The revelation that this pagan was not a pagan and was actually their brother didn’t come until the 2nd year of that time of tribulation and famine.
The other Messiah is Messiah ben David who reigns over all the earth in the time of Geulah (Redemption). Judaism teaches that Messiah ben David comes just after the battle in which Messiah ben Joseph is killed.
So the main difference is that 2000 years ago there were some Jews who believed that Yeshua (Iesus in Greek) was Messiah ben Joseph and that he would return one day as Messiah ben David – 2 Messiahs in 1 person. The rest of Judaism believes in 2 different Messiahs that are 2 different persons. The exception to this being a small subset of the Chabad Lubavitch movement who believes that their last Rebbe died as Messiah ben Joseph and will one day return as Messiah ben David. Some of them even claim that the Rebbe was “the L-rd incarnate”! That becomes scary similar to Christian belief.
The nature of Messiah is revealed in Torah and the Prophets. Both Christians and Jews are waiting for Messiah to come and reign. The main difference that I see is that the Jesus of Christianity they say came to do away with the law (the Torah), while the Messiah of Judaism will be one who upholds the Torah and establishes it. So Christians are expecting to follow after a ruler that is a man of lawlessness. (Which, oddly enough, is a description their Bible uses for the “Anti-Christ”.) So Christians are likely to be decieved in the time of trouble that preceeds the arrival of Messiah and will follow after a false leader.
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