Reform Judaism/Why don't Jews believe in Jesus
This is a self asked question to post an article I wrote in this today
As a Jew (and a converted one at that), I am often asked why Jews don't believe in Jesus? There are of course two questions in this one: 1) why don't Jews believe in Jesus as messiah? and 2) why Jews don't believe in Jesus as the son of G-d?
I shall attempt to tackle these individually below but let me first say that we, as Jews, have nothing against Jesus or Christianity. I personally believe that Jesus has saved many a man (and woman) from himself. Many Christians now live godly lives and attempt to bring their lives into accordance with Jesus' teachings (most if not all of which are Jewish). After all, he lived and died an observant Jew. Rabbi Kook said that observance of the moral law is itself the belief in the One True G-d (my paraphrase) and to be fair we must use this thought as readily towards our Christian brethren as we do secular Jews and the world's Atheist. We do not hate Jesus anymore than the average Christian hates the Prime Minister of Australia, as the average Jew knows as much about the former as the average Christian knows about the latter. It is only when we are not given the same right to worship, to the World to Come, to mere existence and value as human beings and as fellow strugglers before our Maker that our dander rises. It is unfortunate that Christian exclusivity negates any true encounter between our faiths. We would readily join you in making the world a better place; in teaching every individual that they are a cherished child of the Almighty One; in bringing the knowledge of G-d to each and every person on the planet; were it not for the fact that most Christians cannot even fathom such an interfaith effort without that we become Christian first.
Ok, onto the the first question: "Why do Jews not accept Jesus as the messiah? We (Christians and Jews) can argue over the various prophecies and proof texts for the next 2000 years still not arrive at a consensus on what or of whom the prophecies speak. Indeed one great thinker said "Everything's been said, just not everyone's said it." The simple answer is that the world has yet to be redeemed (possibly the one prophecy we can all agree on). There are still wars and plenty of them. Poverty and hunger still exist. The lion is far from lying down with lamb. Until the world is redeemed and these things no longer exist, the messiah, to the Jewish (and Prophetic) mind, has not yet come. Belief and hope simply do not fact make.
The second question explicit in the general question is "Why don't Jews accept Jesus as the son of G-d?" and of course, by this, Christians mean G-d Himself. The Hebrew Scriptures are replete with G-d's admonishment not to follow after gods our fathers did not know. (In other words, gods that did not reveal themselves to us at Sinai). Christians, in their belief in a triune god, might be inclined to say that it was this (triune) G-d that revealed Himself to us at Sinai, at which point we would simply have to say "Glad you were able to join us" as we've had a relationship with Him for thousands of years (of course we don't believe that G-d is three and proclaim twice daily that G-d is One). The Christian Scriptures emphatically state that no person can have a relationship with the Father without the son and that no one can discern the son without first knowing the Father. So if it was this (triune) G-d that revealed Himself to our forefathers then we have clearly had a relationship with Him for millennia before they did. So why the fuss and missionary efforts?
If you have done your homework and asked yourself the tough questions and come to the conclusion of who Jesus is to you, then I and most Jews would support your practice of your faith. Where we draw the line is when Christians insist theirs is the only way to G-d and try to convert Jews. We have our eternal covenant already. We are happy you too have found a relationship with the Almighty.