Malachi 3:1 is quoted several times in the New Testament (see Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27) with reference to John the Baptist, the one sent to prepare the way for Christ. So, if the Old Testament prophecies are so obvious and point so unquestionably toward Jesus, why don’t more people of the Jewish faith accept him as their Messiah? That’s a question Louis Lapides has asked himself many times during the three decades since a Christian challenged him to investigate the Jewish Scriptures. Though he grew up in a Jewish family, Lapides now ministers within the Christian faith. “In my case, I took the time to read them,” he says of the prophecies. “Oddly enough, even though the Jewish people are known for having high intellects, in this area there’s a lot of ignorance.
“It doesn’t help that counter-missionary organizations hold seminars in synagogues to try to disprove the Messianic prophecies. Jewish people hear them and use them as an excuse for not exploring the prophecies personally. They’ll say, ‘The rabbi told me there’s nothing to this.’
“The ostracism a Jewish person faces if he or she becomes a Christian is also a factor,” he says. “Some people won’t let the Messianic prophecies grab them because they’re afraid of the repercussions—potential rejection by their family and the Jewish community. That’s not easy to face. Believe me, I know.”
Adapted from interview with Louis Lapides