Why didn’t Israel know or recognize the Messiah? Jesus was the “stumbling stone” to the legalistic Jewish culture within the Roman empire.The Pharisees, Sadducees, elders, and scribes held to the old testament law, ordinances, and rituals. The first 5 books of Moses in the Bible are known as the Torah or Pentateuch. This forms the basis for Judaism. The Jewish culture of that day was looking for a warrior king to free them from Roman rule. They were not expecting a servant Savior; the stumbling stone. The cornerstone of a building was the strongest part of the building. The cornerstone was laid first in a foundation, and the rest of the house was built around the cornerstone. Jesus is identified as the “chief cornerstone” who holds gentiles and Jews together in one body.
Isaiah 8:14-15 He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken.”
but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
1 Peter 2:6-8 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
There was set before us another passage of Scripture in Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, that foretold of the coming of Elijah, the prophet, before the first coming of the Messiah or first advent, and it reads as follows in the NKJV Malachi 4:5:
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. After the book of Malachi, there was no prophet for about 400 years as God readied Israel and the rest of the world for His first coming.
The Jewish nation, within the Roman Empire, was looking for Elijah the prophet to arrive before the incarnation of Jesus Christ. However, John the Baptist arrived as God’s final preparation for the people before the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist came in the “spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17) urging people to repent of their sins (Matt 3:2). Jesus confirmed, “If you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matt 11:13-14 and 17:11-13)
Scripture describes similar clothing of Elijah and John the Baptist.
And John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; Matt 3:4, Mark 1:6
So they answered him, “A hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.” 2 Kings 1:8
There is nothing in the Bible by chance. Everything has a purpose and meaning and is inspired by the breath of God. Today, Judaism still advocates the coming of Elijah before the arrival of the Messiah. However, the Messianic Jewish people believe in Jesus the Christ, and call Him, Yeshua (Hebrew Name), the Messiah.
With thankfulness to our Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
In Jesus’ name,
Debby Mac Manes, disciple of Jesus Christ <><