Among the many reasons the Jews rejected Jesus 2,000 years ago, the biggest one was that they did not believe the prophecies of the Bible (Jn 5:46-47). Jesus said that what testifies about Him is the Bible, and on the resurrection day, too, He testified about Himself through the Bible to the disciples who were not sure that He is Christ, so that He let them have conviction in their hearts (Jn 5:39; Lk 24:25-27, 32). That is why the apostles, too, testified that Jesus is Christ through the Bible (Ac 17:2).
The Jews did not know the prophecy of the Bible, nor believe it. They persecuted Jesus because they just believed in the God whom they themselves had made with their prejudice and they did not recognize God who was to come in the flesh in order to save sinners who were slaves to death (Jn 15:18-21). Outwardly, they claimed to know and believe in God, but in actuality they did not realize the prophecy of the Bible, so they even crucified Christ and volunteered destruction upon themselves.
Another reason the Jews rejected Jesus was that they just looked at the physical aspects of Christ, not the prophecy of the Bible. Jesus said that the Bible, not His physical aspects, testified about Himself. 2,000 years ago, however, the Jews rejected Jesus, criticizing His physical family, way of life and environment.
Prophecy about God who comes in the flesh
God let us know through the prophecy of the Bible that we cannot receive Christ if we see His physical way of life, but rather stumble and fall away. Prophet Isaiah clearly prophesied 700 years before Jesus came to the earth that Christ would come like a root out of dry ground, which has no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty and majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
Despite this prophecy, the Jews tried to recognize Christ through His physical aspects, so they could not help but fall away.
The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.
The reason God becomes a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, a trap and a snare, and the reason people stumble and fall because of Him is that God comes to this earth in the flesh like us (Isa 9:6). To the people who look at only physical aspects, not the prophecy of the Bible, Christ who is the foundation and the precious living stone absolutely necessary for salvation becomes a stone that causes them to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.
1 Pe 2:4-8
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
Jesus’ way of life and His surroundings
Jesus’ way of life and His surroundings 2,000 years ago didn’t look good at all in the eyes of the people of that time. In those days, eating food without washing hands was the same as eating food with dirty hands without using a spoon or a fork today. However, Jesus did so.
When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.
Besides this, the people who accompanied Jesus Christ were tax collectors, prostitutes and so on. At that time, tax collectors were treated with contempt in Jewish society. Since they collected tax for the Roman Empire, they were regarded as the tools of the Roman Empire. However, such sinners as tax collectors and prostitutes who were despised by the Jews followed Jesus. What was more, Jesus taught that such sinners would enter the kingdom of God ahead of the religious leaders, the hypocrites of the time.
Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
. . . Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.”
Some people rejected Jesus Christ, making His physical family members a subject of discussion.
“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him . . .
They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
Some other people brought the region of Jesus’ residence into question. In the days of Jesus, which is in the Roman Era, Israel was divided into three: Judah, Samaria and Galilee. Among them, Galilee which was located in the north end had been always suffering from the attack of other nations around it. And since the location bordered on Gentile nations, the local color showed Gentile color more than any other regions. Additionally, since Assyria seized Galilee in the territory of North Israel and took the people captive around 734 B.C., Galilee was under the control of Gentiles for a long time and more Gentiles than Israelis came to live there (2 Ki 15:29). So the Jews in Judah despised Galilee as well as Samaria. Because of such a stereotype, the Pharisees insisted that a prophet would not come out of Galilee, and despised Jesus against the prophecy of the Bible (Isa 9:1-2).
They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
The end of those who rejected Christ
The Jews did not pay attention to the prophecy of the Bible and the gospel of the kingdom of heaven Jesus preached, but rather despised Him, bringing up His physical points. So they were thoroughly destroyed by the Roman army in 70 A.D., as they took destruction upon themselves, saying, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” (Mt 27:25; Lk 21:20-23). During World War 2, approximately six million Jews were miserably slaughtered by the Nazis.
In order not to repeat such foolishness, we must look at the prophecy of the Bible and realize Christ. What testifies about Christ is the prophecy of the Bible, not Christ’s physical aspects like the way of life, surroundings, physical family or the place of residence. So Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me,” and the apostles, who testified about Jesus who is God in the flesh to all nations, declared, “We do not regard Christ from a worldly point of view.”
“Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
2 Co 5:16
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
The Bible testifies about Christ
Satan blinded the minds of the Jews through physical aspects of Christ 2,000 years ago, so that they could not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, and he is now doing the same thing today.
2 Co 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ . . .
In order to receive Christ even in this situation, we must have wisdom to realize Christ after looking at the prophecy of the Bible (Ac 17:2; 8:30-35). If you throw away the prophecy of the Bible and look at the physical aspects as the Jews did, it is like a very foolish decision that you will stumble, fall, be broken and captured and is to choose the way of destruction, abandoning salvation.
According to the prophecy of the Bible, God came to the earth in the flesh again in this age to restore the truth of life which had been taken away by the devil (Da 7:22; Lk 18:8; Heb 9:28). 2, 000 years ago, God was ridiculed and persecuted in various ways and went through extreme suffering on the cross, which cannot be expressed with words. Though he would not like to come again, he appeared in the flesh again only with the purpose of saving His children who were destined to suffer in the lake of fire.
We must recognize God only through the prophecy of the Bible, not through the physical aspects. If you study the prophecies of the 66 books of the Bible, you will be convinced that Father and Mother who restored the truth of the new covenant are Gods testified by the Bible. If we pay attention to the prophecies of the Bible as the apostles did, God will surely make His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of Christ.
“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,”
2 Co 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.