Jewish Expectation of the Messiah (Essay Sample)
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2. Being a manual worker, healing the people or befriending sinners- considering of these in turn, decide which of these aspects that Jesus’ ministry first-century Jews might have found most surprising or shocking about the claim about the messiah.
The sin of disobedience brought the separation of man from God, the Creator. Due to God’s unconditional love, He purposed to redeem man through the Son, Jesus Christ. Primarily, the children of Israel were God's chosen people, who needed the support and provisions. The Jewish community believed God will fulfill His promise by sending them a Messiah. However, first-century Jews had their expectation of the “messiah. So when Jesus had come, to fulfill His ministry in redeeming mankind in the Jewish community, they were in rude shock and surprised about the so-called promised messiah. This implies that even though Jewish people had had from God on the Anointed One to be sent, they did not understand the perspective of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Even though the Jews were shocked at the encounter of the Messiah, being a manual worker, healing the people, or even befriending sinners, however, the shock was significantly marked by the healing power of Jesus, which to their canal minds was not executed as their man-made laws.
Jewish expectations of a Messiah
As captured in the Bible, in the New Testament (NT), many Jews eagerly waited for the coming of the ‘Messiah’. In Hebrew, the name messiah means Christ while in Greek, the anointed One. Since Messiah was a person of greatness and redemption power, the Messiah was highly regarded among the Jewish people. Notably, The Jews had several and indifferent views about the messiah. According to groups of the Jew community, the expected Messiah was to be a great spiritual leader just like Moses, who led them from the land of slavery to the Promised Land (Reynolds, 2018). Therefore, the Messiah was to lead the Jews into a new exodus, new freedom. This expectation was derived from the words spoken by Moses' book of the law. The LORD your God will raise for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen; to him you shall listen (Deuteronomy 18:15).
Other Jews also have the perspective of the promised Messiah as ‘prophesied’ by Daniel. According to the book of Daniel (7:13-14), “someone looking like a human being will come on the clouds in the sky. He was given authority, glory, and the strength of a king. People of every tribe, nation, and language will serve him. His rule will last forever, and his kingdom will never be destroyed." Most of the Jews also expected the Anointed One will a great military leader such alike to David, who will conquer all the enemies of Israel hence the expulsion of the Roman Empire as well as the restoration of a new state for the Jews (Reynolds, 2018). The Jews expected a perfect master and teacher of the law of God. They expected one who will lead them according to their canal mind about the redemptive work of God. The Jewish community also waited for a descendant of David. As stipulated in the book of John, “Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”(John 7:42). A certain group of the Jewish community believed that the expected Messiah will rebuild the temple of Jerusalem.
Therefore, to many among the Jews, Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth did not match the expectation of the Messiah. Jesus Christ did not simply fulfill their expectations of Christ or the anointed one. This is because Jesus encouraged His followers to turn their cheeks (Matthew 5:39). Also, Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey disqualified him as the Messiah (Mark 11:1-11). The event portrayed meekness and peaceful man hence not a military leader who would overthrow the Roman Empire. Jesus Christ being brought up in Galilee also distant the expectation of the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah, who would come from the lineage of King David or be born in Bethlehem (Matthew 13:55-57; John 7:40-44). Even though many things about Jesus did not match the expectations of Jewish, much shock came as he manual worker, healing the people and even befriending sinners. The heavy shock was marked by the healing of Jesus, in every place Jesus preached the gospel; He would do great signs and miracles marked by healing.
The healing miracles of Jesus
The teaching of Jesus was marked by miracles and wonders. Healing was part of Jesus ministry, as captured in the book of Isaiah, “the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound (Isaiah61: 1-2). This implies that Jesus did not use healings for his gain but to fulfill the word of God. The healing Jesus dis was not as per their law. Many Jewish religious leaders felt that Jesus was challenging their interpretation of the Sabbath laws (Matthew 12:9-14). Jesus healed on Sabbath day, not once or twice, in every teaching event. He healed people regardless of the so-called Jewish Sabbath laws. This implies that Jesus was at war with the leaders. Jesus became a thorn in the flesh of the Jewish religious leaders as many people followed and believed in Him (Fox, 2019).
To the Jewish leaders, Jesus winning more people to His side means they will lose control over the people, whom they would dictate and manipulate with ease. Jesus is the truth, way, and light, therefore, upon knowing the truth the leaders will not be trusted and even worst be throw into exile by the Roman Empire (Dube, 2020). Also, the healing of Jesus means that He was powerful than the Jewish religious leaders. Beyond the imagination of the Jewish religious leaders, Jesus did not juts healing any specific form of disease or illness but heal all and even raise to life the dead. This implies that not every healing was marked with great grief among the Jewish but specifically shocked both Israelites and religious leaders.
Lazarus was sick and he died. After four days in the tomb, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. In the history of the Jewish community, none has been raised from the dead. Even though they believe there is a second coming of Christ, such healing shocked them. The event made many people believe in Jesus as the messiah, giving their lives to Christ. Raising Lazarus from the dead showed that Jesus had power over death (Fox, 2019). Jesus being the resurrection captured in the event made many Jews be shocked and many gave their lives to Christ. On the contrary, the Jewish religious shock was on another level. They saw people abandon their ways of carnality venturing in knowing the truth. The event broke loose the loins of the leaders, they lost many people who turn to Jesus and believed him as the Messiah. Even though shook the world, religious leaders did not take notice of the greatest of god and confirmation of Jesus as the Messiah (Collins, 2014).
The shock or surprise, marked by the healings of Jesus was not based on the magnitude of the miracle but rather the day, in which Jesus healed. Jewish people believed in a messiah who would obey the Sabbath. Due to their spirit of disbelief, majorly the Jewish religious leaders believed that Jesus Christ was not the ‘messiah.’ In Jerusalem, Jesus healed a man who has been invalid for 38 years by the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-18). Jesus of Nazareth, who has power over sickness and disease, told the lame man to take up his bed and walk. When the Jew saw what had happened they questioned the man. The shock was marked by the fact that how can Messiah from God heal on the Sabbath, which according to the Jewish laws, Sabbath is a day of no any form of work. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he healed on the Sabbath. To their shock, Jesus was never sorry and replied to them that God was working, so he was also was working (Collins, 2014). The Jews, therefore, were greatly moved by the kill Jesus because Jesus did not only heal on the Sabbath which is against the law of Sabbath but also blasphemed God.
The healing of the man with dropsy also shocked the Jewish community (Luke 14:1-6). Jesus was dining in the house of one of the Pharisee ruler. Jesus then asked the Pharisees if it was against the law to heal on Sabbath. The question shocked them and they stayed silent. They wondered by the so-called messiah can ask such an obvious question if indeed he is from God. Jesus further asked them what they will do if their son fell into a well on Sabbath (Fox, 2019). The confusion shocked the audience and they stayed silent. Also, the Jewish people were shocked by ‘Christ’ who healed a man born blind on Sabbath day (John 9:1-16). The disciples asked Jesus who might have sinned to cause the blindness of man. According to the Jewish belief, every calamity or illness or sickne
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