Isaiah 53 Drove Her to Baptism . . .

  How do modern Jews respond to the specificity of Isaiah's prophecy regarding Christ, which is so convincing to Christians? Not sure how people can deny that Jesus is the Messiah.

  How do modern Jews respond to the specificity of Isaiah’s prophecy regarding Christ, which is so convincing to Christians? Not sure how people can deny that Jesus is the Messiah.

That is a very on point question, but I can tell you this in the year 85 AD in the city of Jamnia, which is on just a little South of modern Tel Aviv and Joppa, just South of Joppa.

Rabbis of the Pharisee party who survived the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 had been meeting And Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zekai proposed this and it was accepted that they remove Isaiah 53 from the lectionary cycle in the synagogues. And they were no longer allowed to read that. And I’ll never forget, I just saw her the other day, she and her family came here.

One of my Jewish students at Loyola University, we required them to take theology. She took Old Testament. She thought it was safe. And when we were, I was teaching Isaiah 53, she came up to me after class and said, when did you Christians put that in the Bible that we didn’t, you all did.

And she said I’ve never heard that before. I said, you’re not allowed to. It’s not allowed to be read. And this is something that’s been the response. And he even said, we may not read this in a synagogue, lest the people start thinking of the meaning that is the Christians. That’s an 85 AD.

Now, there are some rabbis who will tackle this passage. They don’t, they prefer not to bring it up. And they’ll say this refers to the whole nation of Israel. And they’ll see, they’ll say that because in Isaiah 49, the servant of the Lord seems to refer to Israel, therefore all the servant songs refer to Israel.

I don’t think, I think that’s a false approach. So a lot of Christian, I think, and Jewish scholars tripped themselves up by saying the four songs of the servant. And I say a 42, 49, 51 and 53. that they’re all the same person. There’s no indication that’s the case. 42 probably refers at its time to Cyrus to Persian.

The first few verses of 49 probably do refer to Israel, but then it changes and the servant speaks to Israel, say to Jacob and to Israel. So it’s a different servant. And then it’s a different servant in 51 and in. 53, because for instance, not all of Israel has beards. Half of the people of Israel don’t grow beards because they’re ladies.

And so plucking the beard doesn’t apply to the whole people, applies to an individual who has a beard. And we even see in the Shroud of Turin that the cheek is swollen where it had been hit, as well as the Gospels mentioning it. And a number of Jewish people who do read it and really see the text are amazed, like my Jewish student, whom I later baptized.

She said, I don’t like it, but Jesus is the Messiah. She didn’t like it, but I kept teaching her more and more the faith and, instructed her and baptized her, and now she, who, by the way, had pretty much given a practice of Judaism as more of a cultural thing, and had become an atheist who practiced witchcraft.

Not unusual. Not unusual because as Chesterton, I don’t think he actually said it, but he should have he’s a true is accredited to him that when people lose their faith in God, they don’t believe in nothing. They’ll believe in anything. And that’s our modern world. We have a lot of people who are nones today and they’re like that, and they latch on to all kinds of crazy things, right?

They do. They, as a matter of fact, the majority of nones admit to praying every day, but what they pray to is sometimes odd Think about what you hear in commercials and what you hear from people on tv the baseball gods or the movie gods and what are you talking about? These are idiots Yeah, what do you know?

And people will do anything and one of the great things about seeing this prophecy And it’s trying to point out the specificity is a lot of Jewish people do come to that and say, I can’t eat. The guy was correct. When you read that, you cannot help but think of Jesus Christ.

And there’s a few, there’s a dissertation by a rabbi that I saw in our library. I just didn’t get a chance to get it. Trying to say that means Israel as a whole, but I don’t think so. It’s just like people represents Israel as a whole anyway, right? The whole people are represented in Christ.

Even there we can, say that we don’t necessarily disagree. Maybe not thinking of it the same way they are, but this is a challenge for our Exodus men. If you have not read Exodus, sorry, Isaiah 53, we have been reading a lot of Exodus, but if you have not read Isaiah 53, read it during this Holy week and you’ll see what father’s talking about this, really clear prophecy of Jesus that has throughout the ages pointed to what happens here during Holy week.

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