The Disciples’ Lack of Understanding of the Prophecies about the Messiah
the bible writers were fond of the prophecies of the torah, and they intentionally and obviously altered many of the meanings of the torah's text to make it fit jesus (pbuh). their love for jesus (pbuh) or their alteration habits, resulted in making them misunderstand many of the prophecies that mentioned the "expected messiah".
an example of this is what we find the book of psalms about the "expected prophet " a psalm of david? the lord says to my lord, "sit at my right-hand, while i make your enemies your footstool " (psalms: 110/1), this particular prophecy was not meant in any way as to indicate jesus (pbuh) the son of mary.
peter, or whoever related that to peter, was mistaken when he interpreted it. saying:
" for david did not go up into heaven, but he himself said: 'the lord said to my lord, "sit at my right hand until i make your enemies your footstool therefore let the whole house of israel know for certain that god has made him both lord and messiah, this jesus whom you crucified " (acts: 2/34-36).
the proof that peter, and the christians after him, were mistaken is that jesus (pbuh) said that he is not the "expected messiah" who was mentioned by david. " while the pharisees were gathered together, jesus asked them, saying, what do you think of christ? whose son is he? they said unto him, the son of david. he said unto them, how then did david in spirit call him lord, saying, the lord said unto my lord; sit in my right hand, until i make your enemies your footstool? if david then calls him lord, how is he his son? and no man was able to answer him a word; neither dares any man from that day forth to ask him any more questions. " (matthew: 22/41-46). the answer that jesus (pbuh) gave was firm, indicating that the expected prophet is not a descendant of david because david called him his master, and the father does not call his son so.
jesus (pbuh) asked the jews about the "expected messiah" the one prophesized by david and other prophets "what do you think of the messiah? whose son is he?" the jews answered him: "he is the son of david", jesus (pbuh) told them that this was wrong, and he said:- "if david called him a god, then how can he be his son!", so the next messiah was not a descendant of david because david called him my lord or my master.
it is known that jesus (pbuh) - according to matthew and luke is a descendant of the prophet david - he was often called "o' son of david" (look in matthew: 1/1, 9/27 and luke: 19/38).
in the book of mark, jesus (pbuh) said, “david himself calls him lord. so how is he his son?" (mark: 12/37). it is also mentioned in luke " and he said unto them, how they say that christ is david's son? david himself said in the book of psalms, the lord said unto my lord, sit in my right hand, until i make your enemies your footstool. david therefore called him lord, how is he then his son? " (luke: 20/40-44). in spite of these statements, the christians still insist that jesus (pbuh) is the prophet whom david foretold of in his prophecy, even though they said that jesus (pbuh) is the son of david.
in his epistle to the hebrews about god’s good news to david, that god will bless his son solomon, paul, or the unknown writer, made it a prophecy of jesus (pbuh), he said, " for unto which of the angels said he at any time, you are my son, this day i have begotten you? and again, i will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son? " (hebrews: 1/5).
the writer of this letter quoted the phrase from the book of second samuel (7/14); he made it a prophecy about jesus (pbuh). it says, "i will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me". the writer thought that this phrase was about jesus (pbuh), so he wrote it in his epistle. this quotation is not correct. the context of the sentence was to david, because god ordered the prophet nathan to tell him: " now therefore thus you shall say unto my servant david, .. when your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, i will rise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and i will establish his kingdom. he shall build a house for my name, and i will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. i will be his father, and he shall be my son. if he commits iniquity, i will discipline him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my steadfast love shall not depart away from him, as i took it from saul, whom i put away before you. and your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you: your throne shall be established forever. according to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did nathan speak unto david. " (samuel (2): 7:8 -17)
the prophesized person is a son of david and not one of his grandchildren. he will be the king of the children of israel after david’s death. he will build the house of god, and he has been warned of god’s punishment if he drifts away from the path of god, all of the above mentioned was fulfilled in the person of solomon as mentioned in the torah.
however, none of the mentioned prophecies applied to jesus (pbuh), for, according to christians, jesus (pbuh) is god, and could not be warned by god. he was perfect, and did not sin. jesus (pbuh) did not build any house for god on earth, and he was never a king to the children of israel. he had no kingdom on earth as he said, " jesus answered, my kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that i should not be delivered to the jews: but my kingdom is not from hence.” (john: 18/36).
in the book of first chronicles, it reads that the name of the prophesized is solomon. david received these words, " behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and i will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be solomon, and i will give peace and quietness unto israel in his days.” (chronicles (1): 22/9)
another example of these fabrications or the misunderstandings is what matthew said about jesus (pbuh) and his return from egypt, when he was a child. " when he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into egypt: and was there until the death of herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the lord by the prophet, saying, out of egypt have i called my son.” (matthew: 2/14-15), he claimed that this confirms the torah's prophecy, that comes in the book of hosea (11/1-2).
the mentioned verse in the book of hosea has nothing to do with jesus (pbuh). instead, it tells about the return of the nation of israel from egypt with moses. originally, the context is about jacob, and then it moves on to talk about his sons and their return from egypt, their idol worshipping, and ignoring god’s commandments and orders. he said:- " when israel was a child, then i loved him, and called my son out of egypt. as they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto baal, and burned offerings to the idols. " (hosea: 11/1-2).
this verse has nothing to do with jesus (pbuh); the worshipping of idols mentioned, took place before jesus (pbuh), and it cannot be applied to the people who were contemporary with him (pbuh). the jews had left idol worshipping centuries before jesus (pbuh) was born, after their released from the captivity of babylon, and they never withdrew from that repentance, as the history books tell us.
the use of the form (my son) is commonly used in the torah, as in: " and the lord said unto moses, when you go to return into egypt, …….. and you shall say unto pharaoh, thus said the lord, israel is my son, even my firstborn: and i say unto you, let my son go, that he may serve me: ." (exodus: 4/21-23).
jesus (pbuh) suffered long from his disciples’ misunderstandings of his words, and during his life, he had corrected many of their mistakes in understanding the prophecies, and even most of his sayings. they failed to understand the simplest of his sayings. if such is the case, how could they understand the prophecies?
in one incident, he advised them saying: " and he cautioned them, saying, watch out, beware of the leaven of the pharisees, and the leaven of herod. and they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. and jesus, aware of this, said to them, why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? do you not yet perceive or understand? are your heart hardened? having eyes, do you not see? and having ears, do you not hear? and do you not remember? “(mark: 8/15-18). how could you not understand that, i did not mean real bread?
in another, jesus (pbuh) talked to them and they did not understand him, " many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said: this is a hard saying; who can hear it? " (john: 6/60).
they used to misunderstand his simple words, and then they were afraid to ask him to explain what they did not understand. mark said: " for he taught his disciples, and said to them, the son of man is delivered to the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. but they did not understand that saying, and were afraid to ask him. " (mark: 9/31-32).
these misunderstandings of the scripture’s indications extended even to the educated and the elite individuals of the children of israel. nicodemus misunderstood the words of jesus (pbuh) when he said, " jesus answered him, truly; truly, i say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of god. nicodemus said to him, how can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? ……….. jesus answered, “are you a teacher of israel, and you do not understand these things? " (john: 3/3 -10) nicodemus did not understand the meaning of the spiritual re-birth; he thought that to be born again means that the person has to go back inside his mother's womb!
nicodemus was the teacher of the children of israel. if this was the way that he understood; how about matthew, the tax collector, and john and peter the fishermen? they were just two illiterate disciples according to the book of acts. " now when they saw the boldness of peter and john, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they astonished.” (acts: 4/13).
the disciples of jesus (pbuh) were the illiterates of the world as paul reported, he said " but god chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; god chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. " (corinthians (1): 1/27).
the relationship between jesus’ (pbuh) words and deeds– during his life on earth- and the scriptures’ prophecies were unclear to the disciples. then after his ascent, they thought that the prophecies were for him (pbuh). " and jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, fear not, daughter of zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt. his disciples did not understand these things at first, but when jesus was glorified, and then they remembered that these things had been written about him, and had been done him. " (john: 12/14-16).
the children of israel had been longing for the savior. they assumed that he was jesus (pbuh), " when they heard these words, some of the people said, “this really is the prophet”. others said, “this is the christ”. but some said, “is the christ to come from galilee? has not the scripture said, that the christ comes from the offspring of david, and comes from bethlehem, the village where david was?" (john: 7/40-42).
the crowds also, in spite of their different cultures, were trying to find salvation through the person of jesus (pbuh). " but you, oh bethlehem ephrata, who are too little to be among the clans of judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. therefore, he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of israel. and he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the lord, in the majesty of the name of the lord his god. and they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. and he shall be their peace. when the assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men. they shall shepherd the land of assyria with the sword, and the land of nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our borders. “(micah: 5/1).
in fact, jesus (pbuh) did not fulfill this prophecy. the jews were looking for the one who would be their king, save them from the assyrians, and bestow the peace among them.
dr. ahmad shalaby quoted parry’s words regarding jesus (pbuh):- “because of his eloquence he was able to attract many of his followers (the jews who awaited the messiah), and they gave him this title.”
they attribute to him what he did not say, as we will see later.