(Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7 and Micah 5:2)
by Michael Sullivan
Many Christians do not celebrate Christmas viewing it as a pagan Roman Catholic holiday while others do but focus on celebrating the incarnation of the God-man – Jesus Christ instead of talking about Santa Claus. Many modern Jews around this time of year scoff at Christians for holding the doctrine of the incarnation or teaching that the Messiah is divine having eternal origins. They insist that Christians have “invented their own religion separated from the OT Scriptures and Jewish traditions.” They insist that they have taught all along that Messiah is to be a mere man. Is this true?
They also mock Christians for ignoring that Jesus taught His Second Coming would take place in the first-century generation (Mt. 10:22-23; Mt. 16:27-28 and Mt. 24:27-34) and therefore, was a false prophet. Space forbids a detailed dive into these subjects, but we can begin to scratch the surface by addressing some key texts and what Jewish tradition has taught concerning the eternal origins of the Messiah and Jesus’ claims.
The complexity of the God-head existed in the OT before we even reach the NT and the Christian view of the Trinity emerges. If the Scriptures said that no one could see God and live (cf. Ex. 33:20), how is it that these same Scriptures taught that people saw Him on the earth (and didn’t die) while at the same time He sat enthroned in heaven running the universe? Didn’t God come in human form, even talking and eating with Abraham, wrestling with Jacob, and leading the armies of Israel? How was God in heaven seated on His throne ruling the universe while at the same time being in the form of a man doing all of these things? The Jews debated and struggled over these issues.