The Jews Rejected Jesus as Their Messiah
The apostle John said of Jesus, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). The phrase, “his own”, refers to the Jewish people. This is not a statement of hatred but of simple fact. The Jews, as a whole, still reject Jesus as their Messiah. Of course, there are some other passages which are used as a basis for hatred but those who use them for hatred are misusing them. Consider the following.
The apostle Peter preached, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; [h]im, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:22-23). So, there you have it. Peter said to the men of Israel that they by wicked hands took and crucified Jesus. And throughout the ages, wicked men calling themselves Christian have used this passage and a couple of others to call Jews Christ-killers and to persecute the Jewish people.
But is this the true teaching of the New Testament? No. While it is true that the apostles held the Jews responsible for their part in the crucifixion of Jesus, they also recognized the responsibility of others. According to the law of the Romans, the Jews could not have crucified Jesus themselves. But this is not all. Listen to the prayer of Peter and the other apostles made shortly after the statement made in the above paragraph.
“Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4:24-28).
Did you read that? Yes, the people of Israel were guilty. But so were the Gentiles and Herod and Pilate. You see, the whole world is guilty for the rejection of Jesus. We had him here offered to us and we all rejected him! Right before the verse that says his own received him not (John 1:11), we read, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10). His own received him not; the world knew him not. We all rejected him and we all are guilty of his blood by our membership in the race of man! There is no New Testament justification for any sort of mistreatment of the Jews. Anyone who teaches this has rejected the New Testament!