Why Couldn’t Jesus Have Been the Messiah?


Often, people point to the miracles that the Gospel reports that Jesus did, as well as the alleged 300 Old Testament prophecies that he fulfilled, to corroborate the claim that Jesus was in fact the Messiah.


In Deuteronomy Moses warns:


“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

(Deut 13:1-3)


In fact, even Jesus made it clear that the performance of miracles does not establish someone’s teaching as being correct:

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”

(Matthew 6:22-23)

And perhaps more clearly:

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. ”

(Matthew 24:24)

It is clear from here that once principles have been established, not even performance of miracles will change them. This indicates clearly that the miracles themselves are not going to indicate one way or other. One has to carefully analyze the Scripture itself and compare the accomplishments of Jesus to the expected role of the Messiah to determine whether in fact he was the Messiah.

The main indication that Jesus was not the Messiah is the fact that he did not do anything that the Messiah was predicted to do. Some examples are:

·         He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to their land. (Isaiah 27:12, 11:12)

·         He must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (Micah 4:1)

·         He must bring world peace (Isaiah 2:4, 11:6, Micah 4:3)

·         He must influence the world to serve one God (Isaiah 11:9, 40:5, Zephaniah 3:9)

Since none of these missions have been fulfilled, it’s impossible that Jesus, or anyone else was the Messiah.


When Jesus failed to accomplish any of the Messianic tasks, his bewildered disciples scoured the Hebrew Scripture to show indications that there are other tasks that the Messiah would accomplish that Jesus did accomplish. Amazingly, most Christians I meet tell me that “Jesus DID accomplish ALL the Messianic prophecies”. They point to Isaiah 53 that supposedly discusses Jesus’ suffering as an atonement for mankind as a Messianic role. While I’ve demonstrated elsewhere that it cannot refer to Jesus, it’s noteworthy that this is something that no one ever saw Jesus do, nor did Jesus ever CLAIM that his death would be an atonement, and there is nothing at all that would link this to Jesus. Many Christians believe in a "conspiracy theory" in which the belief which existed at the time of Jesus was that the Messiah would die and be resurrected, and later sources changed the understanding of Isaiah 53 to cover up belief in Jesus. This is clearly false, as seen from the fact that even AFTER Jesus' death his own disciples didn't know that he would be resurected,


“For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that he must rise again from the dead” (John 20:9).


It's clear from New Testament Scripture that it was none other than JESUS who changed the interpretation of Hebrew Scripture to make it apply to himself:


"Beginning, then, with all the prophets, he interpreted for them every passage of Scripture which referred to him” (Luke 24:27).


The common Christian response to the fact that Jesus didn’t do any of the above noted tasks is a “second coming”.  But there is no Hebrew Scripture that supports that belief.


An equally indicative but more technical reason Jesus could not have been the Messiah is that the Messiah must be a direct descendent of David (Psalms 89:29-38, Jeremiah 33:17 et al) through Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:10, 2 Chronicles 7:18). The New Testament claims that Jesus was not fathered by Joseph, but by God. This would make the first verse of Matthew impossible with regard to identifying Jesus as the Messiah:


The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham”


One popular response is that Jesus “inherited the right” to the throne of David because he was adopted by Joseph. But there is no scriptural support or precedent for this claim.


A more creative response says that the lineage goes through Jesus’ mother, Mary. In an attempt to reconcile the conflicting accounts of Jesus’ lineage as reported in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, many Christians advance the unfounded claim that the lineage reported by Luke is really that of Mary, once again giving Jesus the possibility of being the Messiah. However, once again this makes it impossible for Jesus to bear the necessary lineage. Firstly, the lineage in Luke traces through Nathan, Solomon’s brother, while the Messiah is clearly descended from Solomon, as noted above. Moreover, according to scriptural standard genealogy and tribal membership is transmitted exclusively through one’s father (Numbers 1:18).


The Messiah was never intended to be an object of worship. On the contrary, his mission was always to bring people to recognize the One True God.