February 14, 2022
“Then, if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah! Look – there!’ do not believe it! For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and will perform signs and wonders...”
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“Then, if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah! Look – there!’ do not believe it! For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect. And you must watch. I have told you everything in advance.” Mark 13:21-23
On my first visit to Israel, I noticed the abundance of posters bearing the image of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson. Also known as “The Rebbe,” Schneerson is believed to be the Messiah by many Lubavitch Orthodox Jews.
At Jerusalem’s Western Wall, a fellow handed me a business card bearing Schneerson’s smiling photograph, sporting the caption, “Moshiach.” Although the “Rebbe” died in 1994, many of his followers await his resurrection, or at least his next transmission of truth. I carry that card in my wallet as a reminder of today’s passage.
The hope of the coming Messiah is one of the driving forces behind much of the Jewish community. It drives why and how they worship. Their expectations of who Messiah will be, what He should look like, and what He will do are not unlike the expectations of the average religious Jew of Jesus’ time. It is a sad reality that Messiah has already come & gone, yet He is not recognized by most of the Jewish community at large.
“He came to His own, and His own received Him not.” John 1:11
There have been more than 50 significant messianic pretenders in Judaism over the past 2000 years. Some of them have been very convincing. One eventually became a Moslem, another converted to Roman Catholicism, but none have met the Messianic criteria laid down in the Tanakh (aka: Old Testament). Jesus, alone, met ALL of the requirements, which were applicable to His first coming, and He will fulfill all those pertaining to His 2nd coming, as well!
When the Temple was destroyed in 70AD, the Temple records were also destroyed. Today it would be impossible to provide a genealogy like Matthew’s, proving the Messianic line from David up to today. Messiah had to come before 70 AD.
Just as ancient prophecies of Messiah’s arrival were met exactly by Jesus, so also has His prophecy of pretenders come true...and the pretenders are still coming! The heart of man would rather believe in a lie than accept the truth of God’s Word. But that’s what makes the gospel of Jesus of utmost importance and our call to be His witnesses so urgent! Messiah’s 2nd coming will not be to suffer and save but rather to redeem the remnant of believers (both Jewish & Gentile believers) and judge the sin of the World’s unbelief (both Jewish & Gentile unbelievers).
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6