Could Jews Accept Jesus as a Prophet?
This is a very important question. Each time someone from among the Jewish people claims to be a prophet, it is an important task, a responsibility and a duty for Jews to test that person and determine if he is a true prophet or not.
As explained HERE, according to Judaism, a prophet who contradicts the teachings of the Torah cannot be a true prophet, because his words contradict God’s eternal and unchanging word. There seems to be an obvious reason not to accept Jesus as a prophet: Because Christians - who follow Jesus - do not follow many commandments of the Torah, it seems that Jesus’ message contradicts the message of Moses and other prophets.
But we also know that there can be an exception to this rule, namely if a prophet is sent to a non-Jewish nation. These non-Jews are not bound by the “Covenant of Sinai”, the divine contract that God specifically made with the Children of Israel and which obliges the Jews to fulfill all the commandments of the Torah. These obligations (such as Shabbat, Kashrut, Yom Kippur, etc.) are not binding for non-Jews, and thus it is possible that certain prophets may institute different rules; rules that seem to go against the Torah.
Therefore, two things are important to know: Was Jesus’ mission directed to the Jews or to other nations? And if he primarily addressed the Jews, did he contradict the Torah? If Jesus’ mission was directed to the Jews, he cannot have contradicted the Torah and still be a true prophet. And if he did contradict Torah commandments, he could only be a true prophet if he addressed non-Jews. Here Jews have a major problem, for Jesus himself said that he did not come for non-Jews, but exclusively for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”, which means he intended to bring those Jews back to the fold who had drifted away and lost their faith in God.
If Jesus went against the Torah, then “being sent to the non-Jews” does not work as a valid dispensation, as according to this text in the New Testament, Jesus directed his words to Jews. Does that mean that Jews need to reject Jesus as a false prophet?
For this, another question must be answered: Did Jesus preach to the Jews a message that contradicted the mission of Moses? Did he tell the Jews to abandon the Torah and follow another religion? The opposite seems to be true if we closely look at a number of Jesus’ sayings as recorded in the Gospels. Such as in Matthew 5, 17-19:
“(17) Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the [words of the] prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
(18) For surely, I say to you, until heaven and earth will pass, not one iota or even one tittle shall be removed from the Torah until all is fulfilled.
(19) Therefore, whoever will break one of the least commandments and will teach the people in that fashion, he will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever will practice and teach them, he will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
According to these words, Jesus called upon the Jews to practice all the commandments of the Torah. Based on these words, it seems clear that Jesus did not intend to change the message of God as given through Moses. The Gospel of Matthew (23, 2-3) even indicates that Jesus acknowledged the authority of the Rabbis to interpret the Torah for the Jewish people:
(2) “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
(3) Therefore, all that they tell you to observe, that you shall observe and do.”
So then, does that mean that Jews can accept Jesus as a true prophet?
There are a few issues that stand in the way for this to be true: After Jesus’ days, a whole new religion emerged among his followers, a religion in which not just some minor commandments were abolished, but some major ones as well. There is a saying that to know a teacher, you look at his students. Jesus himself said: “The tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12, 33). If some of Jesus’ followers abolished the Torah and started a new religion, does that mean that Jesus taught them to do so? Was the Christian religion as we know it today intended by Jesus? Or was it developed by a number of his followers, in spite of Jesus’ intentions? Or, was Jesus’ message to the Jews, during his life, fully in accordance with the Torah (as he claimed), but did God perhaps use his teachings later to supply the non-Jews with a religion for themselves, so they would give up their worship of idols and embrace monotheism? This is very possible, but impossible for us to know with certainty.
Another important question is: Did Jesus himself ever claim to be a prophet? We don’t find that anywhere in the Gospels. It seems absolutely clear that, according to the Gospels, Jesus believed that he was sent by God to bring people closer to their Lord. But did Jesus claim to be a prophet? Or was he merely an inspired and inspiring teacher? There have been a small number of Jewish rabbis who believed that Jesus was a true prophet with a mission specifically for the non-Jewish world. But that last point seems to be in contradiction to Jesus’ own statements.
The biggest problem to determine the truth about Jesus is that most sources about Jesus’ life and teachings written in the New Testament have many verses that seem to nonetheless contradict the Torah; in which Jesus is portrayed as more than human, in which he appears to be divine. Are these texts possibly written down by Christians who already were part of a newly developed religion that contradicted Jesus’ own message? The four Gospels are four different biographies of Jesus, each written down by another author. Many of Jesus’ sayings and actions are described in these four Gospels in contradictory manners. Therefore, the Jewish conclusion is that we cannot be certain about what Jesus really said and did, and we cannot determine if he was a true prophet or not. Is that a problem? For Jews, it is not, because the most important message of any true prophet is: “Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God” . That we can do, no matter what!
 Matthew 15:24
 The smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
 The little edge on a letter that distinguishes that letter from a similar looking other letter.
 Such as the Yemenite rabbi Nathan’el al-Fayyumi (1090-1165), author of “Bustan al-Uqul, and the Italian rabbi Benamozegh (1822-1900).
 In any case, we know that the majority of Jews in Jesus’ days, who did know him and who heard his words, did not believe in him as a prophet, including the Pharisees that Jesus acknowledged as the legitimate teachers of the Jewish people.
 Micah 6:8