Have you ever thought of Jesus the way the Jews really had in their mind, and their expectation of what the Messiah was to be like? He was not at all a peasant King; He was the King of kings and Lord of lords. Judaism expected God to break into history. She knew that the current age was an age of evil that was dominated by man’s own rebellion. But the Old Testament looks for a day when God was going to break into history, and a brand-new era would be set up known as the ‘Day of the Lord’, or the ‘earthly kingdom of the Lord’. And they were looking for God to break into history in a dramatic way, and that’s why during Jesus’ time, they were expecting a very political, a very nationalistic, a very conquering type of Messiah. When Christ came to be born in a manger, born of a peasant woman, they simply could not believe that it was the Christ of the Old Testament. If you will read a very unique Scripture known as the ‘Servant Songs’, beginning in Isaiah 40 all the way to chapter 66, there is no other part like this in the entire Bible that is so universalistic in the sense that speaks of God bringing nations from afar. It’s a view of all the world coming to God, and it’s also a view of great sufferings and problems. You see, the nation Israel believed that they were the Chosen Servant in Isaiah 49:3 where it says, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor”. And so the Jews thought this wasn’t talking about the Messiah; that these passages were referring to the nation Israel, the people of God.
I think all of us would agree that through history, the nation of Israel has suffered greatly because of her unique relationship to the Lord, and Him choosing her to reveal Himself through. They have been misunderstood, and hated, and exiled, and killed even in many of our lifetimes. You have seen the nation of Israel in great suffering and problems. And so when Judaism comes to Isaiah, they see all these passages as referring to the nation of Israel, but we notice in the New Testament, that Jesus begins to tell them how the Old Testament applied to Him. Remember the two on the road to Emmaus that didn’t even recognize Him, and He began to show them how the Messiah fits the Old Testament. Remember the Apostle Paul how excited and dedicated he was to Judaism, but he could not believe that Jesus was the Messiah because Jesus was not at all what he was expecting. And even after he met Christ on the Damascus Road, he went to Arabia for three years working through what “Jesus as Messiah” means, because he just couldn’t see how Jesus could be the conquering Messiah of the Old Testament. And I think it’s still a part a problem for Judaism today to try to see Jesus coming as the peasant King; coming in lowliness and humility, coming not on the white charger of a conquering general, but on the Colt of a donkey. The Jews saw one Coming in history, where God would come one time, (well, we know what happened is, there has been an overlapping of those two ages, which we know as the ‘Last Days’ -the current evil age and the New Age of the Spirit) they thought the Messiah will come as king of kings and Lord of lords, and all the glory of the Father with the Holy Angels. But He came another way; He came in Bethlehem as the Child of a peasant woman with no place for Him to stay. I think a good passage that helps us to focus in on the true nature of the Christ is Isaiah 53. Remember it starts with a nation and it funneled down into one ideal Israelite; one ideal Person of God, one Son among many children. The tragedy is, the Jews missed the whole point. They missed the first Coming of the Messiah as the ‘Suffering Servant’, they mistook Him as a blasphemer, and crucified Him instead. They crucified their own Messiah!