Jewish Questions About Jesus
To be equally honest with you, I don’t follow that religion either, nor would I be able to put my trust in a God like that. Only one thing really matters: Is there a place called hell, and is there a judgment after death?
Of the multiplied thousands of followers of Jesus that I know around the world — both Jews and Gentiles — I can not think of one who continues to follow Jesus primarily because of the fear of hell, let alone only because of the fear of hell. We follow him because we love him and we recognize him to be our Messiah.
Could it be that what you call ‘unnatural emotions and feelings’ are actually lower, more base human attitudes, while the ethical behavior that Jesus requires from his followers actually reflects higher, more lofty, spiritual attitudes? Maybe not everything that is ‘natural’ is good and not everything that is ‘unnatural’ is bad!
This is an exaggerated and inaccurate statement. Traditional Jews see this world as the corridor to the world to come but stresses the importance of life in this world. As for Christians, while stressing the importance of the world to come, they have been responsible for the building of more hospitals, the feeding of more hungry people, and the establishment of more educational institutions than all other religions of the world combined.
Judaism actually has many different traditions about the coming of the Messiah, including beliefs that there are two messiahs who will each come once, as well as beliefs that there is a potential Messiah present in each generation.
That is not true. From the Talmud until our own day, important Jewish traditions have acknowledged the Messiah’s suffering.
Judaism has never had one, official, universally accepted set of beliefs concerning the Messiah, but it is true that traditional Jewish teaching does not speak unequivocally of a divine Messiah. However, Jewish tradition often describes a highly exalted Messiah as well as a preexistent Messiah, so much so that Jewish scholars have sometimes spoken of the ‘semi-divine’ or ‘quasi-divine’ nature of the Messiah according to these traditions.
On the contrary, repentance is one of Judaism’s foundations! That’s why our own traditional literature from the Talmud to the Prayerbook to Maimonides to contemporary Jewish thinkers is filled with teaching on repentance and prayers of repentance.
There may be some confusion with our terms. Messianic Jews and Christians believe that we have fallen from the ideal state in which we were created, and now moral corruption is an inescapable part of our nature. We do not believe that people are totally and completely sinful, incapable of doing or choosing anything good. Rather, we believe that by nature we are hopelessly prone to sin and thoroughly entangled with sin.
It seems to me that you misunderstand the biblical concept of salvation, be it ‘Christian’ or ‘Jewish.’ You probably think of salvation in the Hebrew Bible in terms of earthly deliverance and preservation, whereas you understand salvation in the New Testament in totally spiritual terms, referring only to the salvation of the soul.