John Hagee is the charismatic preacher, and Christian Zionist, who wrote, In Defense Of Israel   (Publisher:Front Line, 2007). Hagee is a Dispensational Premillennialist, which is the theological underpinning for the modern prophecy movement. However, Hagee goes far beyond what most DPs believe concerning Israel and the Messiah. 

In his book, like most DPs,he attempts to build a case for why Christians need to support Israel. Also, like most DPs he claims that God blesses those who bless the Jewish people. However, he goes much further and tries to convince us that the Jewish people cannot be blamed for the death of Jesus, because they never rejected him as The Messiah. IOW, Jesus never came to be the Messiah. 

In Chapter 10 of In Defense of Israel, “Answering Christian Critics”, he states:”Most evangelicals believe that the Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah and therefore qualify for God’s eternal judgment. Replacement theologians have said that “the covenant with Israel was broken because she  would not accept Jesus Christ whom God sent.” 

Hagee then goes on to ask several questions to refute this statement about the Jewish rejection of Jesus. The main one I want to pick up on is on page 132 of the same chapter: “Did the words of Jesus or his actions convey the message that he wanted to be Messiah?”
After stating that God had a sovereign will for the life of Jesus which included being a “light to the Gentiles”, Luke 2:27-32, and dying for sinners, he writes that the Jewish leaders plotted his death, and Jesus refused to be the Messiah, and be Israel’s political Saviour. On page 135, he states five major points that he claims need to be understood to see that the Jews did not reject Jesus as Messiah: 

1. Jesus had to live to be the Messiah
2. If it was God’s will for Jesus to die from the beginning…
3If it was Jesus (sic) intention to be obedient unto death…
4. If there is not one verse of Scripture in the New Testament that says Jesus came to be the Messiah…
5. And if Jesus refused by his words or actions to claim to be the Messiah to the Jews, then how can the Jews be blamed for rejecting what was never offered?

Amazingly, before stating that “there is not one verse of Scripture in the New Testament that says Jesus came to be the Messiah”, and ” …Jesus refused by his words or actions to claim to be the Messiah to the Jews”, he quotes from the Gospel of Luke, Luke 24:45-46 “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them,”Thus it is written, THAT THE CHRIST SHOULD SUFFER AND ON THE THIRD DAY RISE FROM THE DEAD….”.


This verse, quoted in his own book, on page 135, utterly refutes his claims about the Messianic claims of Jesus. Jesus did not have to only live to BE the Messiah. Jesus himself states that the CHRIST, the Greek rendering of the Hebrew term, had to DIE to fulfil the Scriptures. 

When Andrew, one of John the Baptist’s disciples who had heard John call Jesus “The Lamb of God” a sacrificial title, and one which even Hagee admits “Every Jewish person who heard John’s words knew there was only one thing you could do with a young male lamb:kill it!” p. 134., he recognized Jesus as “The Messiah(which is translated, the Christ). John 1:41.

Is it true that only the Jewish leaders determined to kill Jesus? They did plot and conspire to put him to death. However, the unbelief of the Jewish nation was part of the sovereign plan of God in accomplishing the Crucifixion. John 12:37-40 explains the mass rejection of Christ by the unbelieving Jewish people. This was prophesied centuries before, especially in Isaiah. In John 6:66 we see that the people could not accept the hard truths of Christ. They sought a King who would cause an insurrection against the Roman occupation. Jesus did not commit himself to the people, NOT because he did not intend to be their Messiah, but because AS MESSIAH he demanded a commitment to Himself, by faith. 

Hagee’s claims are simply biblically false. In so many words, John Hagee is actually denying Jesus as the Christ, or Messiah to Israel. If Jesus did not come to Israel as their Messiah, then the Messiah did not die for anyone. He may not believe that, but that is the logical implication of his bad theology.

 Bibliography 

John Hagee, In Defense of Israel: The Bible’s Mandate For Supporting the Jewish State  (Front Line, 2007)

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