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6 How the Jews Missed Their Messiah*

Emotional filters keep us from hearing and seeing what’s right in front of us. That’s how the Jewish religion could be all about the Messiah and yet miss him.

Their religion was tweaked by the pain of being conquered and controlled by the Romans. It made them long for physical and political deliverance. Some records show their taxes as high as 75%! They were oppressed, and wanted a conquering Messiah who would exalt their nation and defeat Rome.

So they overlooked the prophecies of the Christ’s suffering* and focused on those of His second coming in power and glory. It agreed with what they wanted—national exaltation–the recognition they had been so long promised for obedience.

But humans have always had heart problems it seems–at least when it comes to obeying.

The priests multiplied rules to force all of them to obey because they had learned that blessings followed obedience. And for the leaders, control served their fear and lined their pockets. They made idols out of their rules. Their motivation was hatred of the Romans, not love for God. They had lost the understanding that true obedience comes from delight in the law and its Creator.

Ironically, the lowest classes, “the ignorant poor” who suffered most from oppression, were looking for deliverance from evil, and they saw God’s goodness in Jesus. They saw the love they longed for in him, and they hoped that God was like him—meeting their emotional needs and making life secure for them and their children.
*Isaiah 53,  Psalm 22, and many others sprinkled through the Old Testament, especially Psalms and  Zechariah

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