Who was right?

A Jewish friend of mine recently got me thinking. He asked me what I would do if my brother, hypothetically, said that God was speaking through him or to him. I answered that I would tell my priest or bishop and that I would believe whatever Rome told me (so if the authorities in the Church told me he was lying, I would believe that).

Then he followed up with a question, if I were to believe that the Church is right, then why was it/is it considered to be wrong that Jews rejected Jesus Christ? Some Jews I know converted to Christianity, but for Jews back then, who had not experienced Christ first hand, they would rely on the guidance or the Rabbis, and the Rabbis would have told them that this is not the messiah. So it basically comes down to his word against theirs.

Can someone clarify this to me? I mean, the Jews back then, who rejected Christ, and even today, who reject Christ, are simply following the advice of their Rabbi, just like a Catholic would follow his priest’s advice to not convert to another religion.

The passage in Acts 17 about the Jews in Berea comes to mind. The KJV says “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

So the Berean Jews knew their scriptures, heard the word of the Apostles, tested it against the scriptures, and found it to be true. The Jews in Thessalonica didn’t believe, and “stirred up the people”.

Ryenski has part of the truth. The other part of the truth is something I wish I could shout at the top of the rooftops to all faithful Catholics. Please read what the apostle Paul has written concerning his Jewish brethren in Romans chapter 11. There is a reason why Paul wrote these things to the Roman Catholic church and to no other church. Humbly ask the Spirit of God to grant you the understanding of this chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. Shalom.

Sorry for not noticing this sooner.

OP writes, “A Jewish friend…asked me what I would do if my brother, hypothetically, said that God was speaking through him or to him. I answered that I would tell my priest or bishop and that I would believe whatever Rome told me (so if the authorities in the Church told me he was lying, I would believe that).”
–My answer would be completely different. I’d rely on what I saw my brother do. Specifically,could he heal the blind? Calm a storm at sea? Feed 5 thousand, miraculously?

Clearly, Jesus did some things which appeared miraculous to those who saw them. We can debate if he really fed 5 thousand or 4 thousand, or if those stories are 1 or 2 miracles…but that is a detail. Clearly he did “something,” multiple times. such that some people literally gave up their entire lives to follow him.

Now, as to why rejecting Jesus might be wrong, I am reminded of the old addage, “who do you believe…me, or your lying eyes?” A person could have seen, and believed, but allowed themselves to disbelieve, for a host of (bad) reasons. Perhaps a Jew wanted to believe, but feared becoming an outcast…or was afraid of how belief might change their lives for the worse. Perhaps they were just afraid of change. Perhaps the Messiah was not who a Jew expected, and they feared hw their beliefs, worldview, etc. would change if they allowed themselves to believe.In any case, such rejection would be wrongful.

The wrong behavior of the Rabbis would be worse, inasmuch as they could have more easily seen, for example, how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the OT but also knew that their own stations would be threatened if this Jesus really was “the One” they’d been waiting for. These folks were the ones asking, “do you believe me, or your lying eyes?” Some Jews followed the advice of their rabbis, sure; but some of them (the laity) should have known better than to follow that advice; worse, some of them – the rabbis, and the ones who knew what the Messiah would look like, probably did not believe because they did not want to believe.

The book, “The case for Christ,” although written by a Protestant, quotes a Jewish convert to Christianity who converted after learning how closely Jesus matched up to the Jewish Scriptures’ prophetic writing about what the Messiah would look like (not physically, of course; rather, how he would act, his characteristics, etc.

First of all the two scenario’s are not the same. Your brother was not claiming to be God as Jesus did. If he were, you would not have to go to Rome for your answer. You would already have it in the Old Testament scriptures. Even more so for the Jews. Like you, the Jews not only had all of the Messianic prophesies contained in the Jewish scriptures that we call the Old Testament, they, unlike you, were also well versed in them. And so, like you with your brother claiming to be God, they did not have to go to the rabbi’s for an answer. They had it already. The same is true for modern Jews.

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