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FUNDAMENTAL MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST WHEN HE WAS ON EARTH

(Wednesday, April 22, 2020)

1.0 BACKGROUND

Jesus Christ is the greatest Being to be born on this earth—our perfect example. He is Lord of lords, the Creator, our Saviour, and He came to earth so that we could live with God again. Jesus’ fundamental mission on earth was to fulfil God’s plan “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). From right at the beginning, in the book of Genesis, we read of a descendant who would come and reverse the effects of Adam’s sin. We read of a promised ‘seed’ who would destroy the effects of sin (Genesis 3:15 – see The promise in Eden). As we continue we read of this descendant being the focal point of the promises which God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – that he would have victory over enemies and that he would eventually bring a blessing to all the nations of the earth (Genesis 22:17-18 – see The promises to Abraham). This hope of a ‘promised seed’ was known to the Jewish people as “The Messiah” – the saviour. Many prophecies were given by the prophets concerning this one who would come to bring men back to God. The Bible speaks of how the people of Israel were chosen by God and that he established a Kingdom for them in the past. However due to disobedience this Kingdom was destroyed but the Bible teaches that the Messiah would be the one who would restore the Kingdom once again to Israel – but this future establishment would be everlasting, and the rule of the Messiah would be righteous. As a reward for following the example of the Messiah the Bible teaches that we too can be given eternal life to rule in this Kingdom.

Israel started out with a man named Jacob who was renamed by God to Israel. “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have own; so, your name will be Israel.” (Genesis 32: 28) He had twelve sons, and these became known as “the twelve tribes of Israel”.  In Old Testament, the Book of Exodus articulates the central events in Israel history, especially the twelve sons of Jacob. When they came to Egypt the total number of these people directly descended from Jacob was seventy (Exodus 1:5). Jacob blesses to Joseph’s sons (Ephraim and Manasseh) by saying, “The Israelites will use your name when they pronounce blessings. They will say, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh’.”  (Genesis 48: 20) Later, Israel split into two houses, the northern house of Israel and the southern house of Judah. Over time the house of Israel abandoned God and was rejected, to no longer be God’s special people, and were known as the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Essentially, they became like gentiles, forgot their identity and were “lost to history”.

Today, as a Christian, this seems unusual to believe that Jesus didn’t come to save everyone.  We teach that God came to the entire world to heal and save humanity as a whole.   As a point of reference, we need to remember that as Christian, the only thing that separates us from our Jewish brethren is the fact that we did not reject Jesus as the Messiah and God’s Christ. If Jesus embraces the gentiles, why then does he specifically command his disciples “go not unto the gentiles” in Matthew ten and why does he snub the gentile woman in Matthew fifteen, telling his disciples once again, I have come only for “the lost sheep of Israel.” This clearly shows Jesus separating Jews from all other races and people in the region. However, he oddly excludes Samaritans as well. Samaritans were a Jewish sect hated by Temple priest for establishing their own religious beliefs and their refusal to pay sacrificial tribute to the Temple. Therefore, this indicates when Jesus refers to “the lost sheep of Israel” he refers specifically to those Jews following the Temple and its sacrificial law.

Jesus came first for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He said so. This included first the Jewish people and then any of the Israelites from the other tribes after that. Beyond that, he came to save the whole world (John 3:16). This he clearly states in the great commission and in his final instructions to his disciples before he ascended to heaven, when he told them to go first to Jerusalem, second to Judea, third to Samaria, and forth to the whole world (Acts 1:8).

2.0 CONTEXT

2.1 The House of Israel and the House of Judah

In Isaiah 54:13, Jeremiah 31:33-34 and Hebrews 8:10-11 we further read, “Behold, the days come, saith God, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Two House theology primarily focuses on the division of the ancient United Monarchy of Israel into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. The United Monarchy of Israel was traditionally dated between 1050 BCE and 930 BCE, during the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon. The United Monarchy of Israel became divided after King Solomon’s reign passed to his son Rehoboam in about 931 BCE. Rehoboam refused to grant the northern 10 tribes’ relief from Solomon’s taxation and they subsequently formed their own autonomous nation in the north, making Jeroboam their king. Thus, the divided into two kingdoms were: the Kingdom of Israel, including the cities of Shechem and Samaria (where 10 lost tribes- Reuben, Simeon, Issachar, Ephraim, Zebulum, Manasseh, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, Gad  and some of the tribe of Levi inhabited) in the north; and the Kingdom of Judah containing of the city of Jerusalem (where  tribe of Judah, tribe of Benjamin & some of the tribe of  Levi inhabited) in the south.

2.2 How did Israel became Lost Sheep?

The nation of Israel was split into two kingdoms because of Solomon’s repeated disobedience. But for King David’s sake, God chose to wait until Solomon’s son Rehoboam was king. In 1King 11:11-13 we read, “And God said to Solomon, Because this has been done by you, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes that I charged on you, I shall surely tear the kingdom from you and shall give it to your servant. Only, I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I shall tear it out of your son’s hand. Only I will not tear away all the kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for my servant David’s sake, and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen”. Further in 1King 11:29-31 we also read, “And at that time it happened that Jeroboam had gone out from Jerusalem, and Ahijah the Shilonite, the prophet found him in the way. And he covered himself with a new garment, and both of them were by themselves in a field. And Ahijah laid hold on the new garment on him and tore it into twelve pieces. And he said to Jeroboam, Take ten pieces for yourself. For so says LORD, God of Israel, “Behold, I am tearing the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and giving to you the ten tribes…” So, ten tribes went to king Jeroboam in the north and became known in Scripture as “the House of Israel.” And Solomon’s son Rehoboam ruled as king in the southern kingdom, known as “the House of Judah”. However, 1King 11:34-36 says, “But I will not take the whole kingdom out of his (Solomon’s) hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for My servant David’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept My commands and My statutes. But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s (Rehoboam’s) hand, and will give it to you (Jeroboam), ten tribes. And I will give one tribe (Benjamin) to his son (Rehoboam), that there may be a lamp to My servant David before Me all the days in Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen to Myself, to put My name in…”

2.3 God’s Plan for the Lost Sheep

Numbers 27:16-17 says, Let LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who may go out before them, and who may go in before them, and who may lead them out, and who may bring them in, so that the congregation of LORD may not be as sheep to whom there is no shepherd. In 1st Kings 22:17 we read, “And he said, I have seen all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep that have no shepherd”. Jeremiah 50:17 articulates that Israel is scattered sheep, driven away by lions. First, the king of Assyria devoured him, and last, this King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon . . .Moreover, Jeremiah 50:6 says, My people are lost sheep. Their shepherds have caused them to go astray; they turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place. And youMy sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men. I am your God, declares the Lord YHVH. (Ezekiel_34:31) I will gather all of you, Jacob; gathering, I will gather the remnant of Israel. (Micah 2:12) So says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My sheep from their hand, and cause them to cease from pasturing the sheep. . .  For so says the Lord GOD: Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks his flock in the day that He is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out My sheep and I will deliver them from all the places where they were scattered . . .While the verses listed above are not an exhaustive list, they establish the following: In Scripture “lost and scattered sheep” refer to “Israel”the congregation of LORD. (Ezekiel 34:10-12)

3.0 FUNDAMENTAL MISSION: TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL

3.1 “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5-6).

Matthew 10:1 says, “And he got together his twelve disciples and gave them the power of driving out unclean spirits, and of making well all sorts of disease and pain” and sent them to preach the good news of the kingdom. When Jesus sent His twelve disciples to preach the good news of the kingdom, He commanded them, “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5-6). And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

The Bible reveals that the kingdom of heaven is being offered to Israel first. The focus of this first mission of the disciples, like that of Jesus before His suffering, death, and resurrection (Matthew 15:24), was to the natural heirs of the kingdom. Even on the day of Pentecost, there were “in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation” (Acts 2:5).

Jesus did not forbid their preaching to all Gentiles; He did, however, narrow their focus to the areas which should be most receptive—those who knew the Law and were expecting the Messiah. Apostle Paul, in his missionary journeys, followed the same priority of preaching to the Jews first (Romans 1:16).

3.2 “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24)

The punishment of Israel had not ended even in Christ’s time, more than 700 years after Israel’s fall. In about AD 31, Christ says He was “not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). They were still “lost” in His day, not having returned to Canaan. In Jeremiah 50:6, God calls Israel His people and “lost sheep.” The Messiah, spoken of throughout the Old Testament, was seen as the one who would gather these “lost sheep” (Ezekiel 34:23-24; Micah 5:4-5). When Jesus presented Himself as a shepherd to Israel, He was claiming to be the fulfilment of Messianic prophecy (Mark 6:34, 14:27; John 10:11-16; see also Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4; and Revelation 7:17).

When Jesus was in the area of Tyre and Sidon, a coastal region in extreme north-eastern Galilee (Matthew 15:21), a Canaanite woman came to Him with a request to heal her demon-possessed daughter. For a while, Jesus did not respond to the woman’s entreaties, and she followed Him and continued to beg for mercy. Finally, the disciples, feeling that the woman was a nuisance, asked Jesus to send her away. Then Jesus said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). It is appropriate here, where he is emphasizing his attitude towards the chosen people and teaching the Canaanite woman the relative position of Jew and Gentile.

At that time, His duty was to the people of Israel, not to the Gentiles (Matthew 15:24). Recklessly taking His attention from Israel, in violation of His mission, would be like a father taking food from his children in order to throw it to their pets (Matthews 15:26). The exact word Jesus used here, in Greek, was kunarion, meaning “small dog” or “pet dog.”

We should understand Jesus’ words here not as an outright rejection of the Gentiles—moments later, He heals the woman’s daughter (Matthew 15:28)—but as a fulfilment of prophecy, a setting of priorities, and a test of the woman’s faith.

The woman knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me!”  Jesus replied that it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.  The woman engages Jesus further by stating, “Yes, it is Lord,” “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.  Jesus declared that her faith was great, and the daughter was healed.  

Jesus’ words to the Canaanite woman also show an awareness of Israel’s place in God’s plan of salvation. God revealed through Moses that the children of Israel were “a holy people to the LORD . . . chosen . . . a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6). It was through the Jews that God issued His Law, preserved His Word, and sent His Son. This is why, elsewhere, Jesus tells a Samaritan that “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). In Matthew 15, when the Jewish Messiah says that He was sent to “the house of Israel,” He is simply connecting His presence with God’s purpose in Old Testament history. Christ was “born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law” (Galatians 4:4-5).

3.3 “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22)

a. Ye worship ye know not what

However, as to her question, he more directly replies by condemning the Samaritans, and their ignorance in worship, and by approving the Jews; and so manifestly gives the preference to the Jews, not only with respect to the place, and object of worship, but with respect to knowledge and salvation. The Samaritan worship (see under John 4:7) was faulty in several important factors. It was founded upon only a part of the word of God (the Pentateuch), and even that part was not strictly obeyed. Also, many polluting elements of paganism had been incorporated into it. This probably refers to the comparative ignorance and corruption of the Samaritan worship. Though they received the five books of Moses, yet they rejected the prophets, and of course all that the prophets had said respecting the true God. Originally, also, they had joined the worship of idols to that of the true God. See 2 Kings 17:26-34. They had, moreover, no authority for building their temple and conducting public worship by sacrifices there. But after Sanballat had built the temple on Mount Gerizim, the idolatrous worship of the Cutheans and Sepharvites, etc., was entirely laid aside; the same religious service being performed in the Samaritan temple which was performed in that at Jerusalem. On all these accounts they were acting in an unauthorized manner. They were not obeying the true God, nor offering the worship which he had commanded or would approve. Thus, Jesus indirectly settled the question which she had proposed to him, yet in such a way as to show her that it was of much less importance than she had supposed. The Samaritan woman may have been dedicated to her worship and her idea of God, but she was wrong in both her concept of God and also pertaining to the will of God. As a consequence, Jesus said, “…ye know not what ye worship.” Also, her manner of life was not in keeping with the will of the true God (John 4: 16-19).

The Bible speaks of “ignorant worship” (Acts 17: 23). The Athenians were ignorantly worshipping the God of heaven (Acts 17: 16-23). They had one idol, included in their pantheon, with the inscription “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD” (Acts 17: 23). God was unknown to them because they had rejected a knowledge of him (Romans 1: 22-25). As a result, their worship was not accepted (Acts 17: 23-31).

b. We know what we worship

Jesus puts himself among them, for he was a Jew by saying, “We Jews acknowledge all the attributes of his nature and offer to him only the sacrifices prescribed in the law”. This they knew because God had commanded it; because they worshipped in a place appointed by God, and because they did it in accordance with the direction and teaching of the prophets. Thus, Jesus affirmed the truth of the Old Testament and the validity of the covenant with the chosen people, affirming the authenticity of the Hebrew religion.

c. For salvation is of the Jews

Salvation is from the Jews. Salvation seems here to mean the Saviour, the Messiah, as it does Luke 2:30; Luke 3:6; Acts 4:12; : and so the woman appears to have understood it, John 4:25. The Messiah was to spring from the Jews – from them, the preaching of the Gospel, and the knowledge of the truth, were to go to all the nations of the world. It was to the Jews that the promises were made; and it was in their prophetic Scriptures, which the Samaritans rejected, that Jesus Christ was proclaimed and described. See Isaiah 11:3. God took hold “of the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:16); the Jews were custodians of the Scripture (Romans 3:2); Christ was born “under the law.” The Old Testament Scriptures are they which “testify” of Christ (John 5:39).

It is regrettable that there are so many who are misrepresenting the will of God in the matter of worship. When we realize the nature of true worship and how truth is an important component or element in acceptable worship and how the Samaritan concept of worship was inconsistent with the scriptures, just as much of the worship today, it is much easier to accept Jesus’ statement to the woman from Samaria, “…ye worship ye know not what….” Jesus further says in John 4: 23-24, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”.

4.0 WHY GENTILES WERE GRAFTED IN?

4.1 I say then, “Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy” (Romans 11:11)

In Deuteronomy 32:21, it was prophesised that  “They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation”. Moreover, in Jeremiah 11:16 – 17 we read, The Lord called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. For the Lord of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.

The grafting process started when Peter was directed by Holy Spirit, three years after Christ’s death to bring Cornelius the Roman and his family into the Christian congregation. After that peoples from all nations were acceptable to God. Paul and other apostles were sent to the gentiles, and Jesus always healed and accepted gentiles (e.g. Matthew 8:5, Matthew 15:21-28, John 4:1-26). But Jesus’ first duty was to His chosen people. The gentiles are saved because they are grafted onto the olive tree of Israel. In Romans 11:13-24 Apostle Paul says, Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree [Israel], do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. It must be noted that the “olive tree” referred to here, the nation of Israel, refers to those Jews who, like Abraham, David, Isaiah, etc, trusted God to send the Messiah, not merely to Jewish descent per se. The branches that were “broken off” were those parts of Israel, such as the Northern Kingdom, who turned away from God and rejected His promise. (Romans 4:3)

Because He was rejected by His own, salvation has come to us Gentiles when we believe on Him. We are now in the Church Dispensation which will culminate in the Rapture which will usher in the Tribulation followed by the Millennium. Israel will accept Christ as their King at His Second Coming, and He will rule the Gentile nations from Jerusalem for a 1000 blessed years. Following a last-ditch momentary rebellion by Satan and his deluded followers (quickly destroyed by Christ) time will be no more as a delightful eternity with Jesus opens up before us!

5.0 HATH GOD CAST AWAY HIS PEOPLE?

5.1 I say then, “Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” (Romans 11:1)

Paul, in the Romans 9 & 10 chapters, had declared the doctrine that all the Jews were to be rejected. To this a Jew might naturally reply, is it to be believed, that God would cast off his people whom he had once chosen; to whom pertained the adoption, and the promises, and the covenant, and the numerous blessings conferred on a favourite people? It was natural for a Jew to make such objections. And it was important for the apostle to show that his doctrine was consistent with all the promises which God had made to his people. The objection, as will be seen by the answer which Paul makes, is formed on the supposition that God had rejected “all his people,” or “cast them off entirely.”

Amos 9: 14-15 says,

“And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”

Jeremiah 31:10 says,

God says that He, “who scattered Israel,” will also gather it “as a shepherd does his flock.” He asks that His message be declared “in the isles afar off.” This is not Crete or even Cyprus or Malta. The islands must be far away, and northwest of Jerusalem.

When Paul begins with the words, I say then, he states in a manner familiar to the best writers, a very obvious and probable objection which he was about to remove. Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. — Some might conclude, from the previous declarations of the Apostle, that the whole Jewish nation was now rejected of God, and for ever excluded from the blessings of the Gospel. This inference he strongly disclaims and shows that God designed even now to reserve for Himself a people out of the Jews as well as out of the Gentiles, while, hereafter, it is the Divine purpose to recall the whole nation to Himself. Paul therefore answers his own pointed interrogatory, by rejecting the thought with his usual energy, while, to strengthen his denial, he further exhibits himself as a signal example of one not cast away. Had his doctrine involved the total rejection of the Jews, he would have pronounced his own condemnation. For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. — Besides being an Israelite, Paul here states that he was of the seed of Abraham.

Although, in declaring himself an Israelite, he virtually claimed a direct descent from Abraham, yet it was a fact of no ordinary moment, and one therefore on which he emphatically dwells. It is his object to impress on the minds of his readers a sense of its intrinsic importance, as well as to recall to their recollection the covenant of God with Abraham, which confirmed the promises made to him respecting his descendants. This was much to the Apostle’s purpose, in affirming that God had not cast away the children of him who was called the friend of God. Paul likewise adds that he was of the tribe of Benjamin. It was doubtless an honour to deduce his lineage through a tribe which adhered to the true worship of God, and had not revolted from the house of David. The fact, too, of his being enabled with certainty to trace his pedigree from Benjamin was sufficient to establish the purity of his origin, and to prove that he was not merely found mingled with the nation, but was, in the expressive language which he elsewhere adopts, ‘a Hebrew of the Hebrews,’ an Israelite by birth, parentage, and unbroken hereditary descent. The design of the Apostle is evidently to magnify his privileges, that he may produce the conviction that he has no interest in teaching anything derogatory to the just pretensions of his countrymen.

Lord did indeed announce that “the kingdom of God should be taken from Israel” (Matthew 21:41 ); and when asked by the Eleven, after His resurrection, if He would at that time “restore the kingdom to Israel,” His reply is a virtual admission that Israel was in some sense already out of covenant ( Acts 1:6-8 ). It says,

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Yet here the apostle teaches that, in two respects, Israel was not “cast away”; First, Not totally; Second, Not finally. FIRST, Israel is not wholly cast away. God promised that while the lion’s share of the northern kingdom would never be recovered a chosen number of their descendants would return to God and become sons of God. These, along with the remnant from Judea constitute the 144,000 of Revelation 7.

5.2 “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ – He is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36)

In Numbers 15:15-16 it was prophesised that “One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you”.

Peter had been asked to teach Cornelius and his assembled friends. It was expected, of course, that he would instruct him in regard to the true doctrines of religion – the doctrine which had been communicated to the Jews. He commences, therefore, with a statement respecting the true doctrine of the Messiah, or the way of salvation which was now made known to the Jews. The Messiah was promised to Israelites and spent his life among them. “In regard to the Word, or the doctrine which God sent to the children of Israel, proclaiming peace through Jesus Christ (who is Lord of all), you know already what was done, or the transactions which occurred throughout all Judea, from Galilee, where he commenced his ministry after John had preached, that this was by Jesus Christ, since God had anointed him,” etc. Peter here assumes that Cornelius had some knowledge of the principal events of the life of the Saviour, though it was obscure and imperfect; and his discourse professes only to state this more fully and clearly.

He is sovereign, or ruler of both Jews and Gentiles, and hence, Peter saw the propriety of preaching the gospel to one as to the other. See John 17:2; Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:20-22. The word “Lord” used here does not necessarily imply divinity, but only that the Lord Jesus, as Mediator, had been constituted or appointed Lord or Ruler over all nations (Romans 10:9-13). It is true, however, that this is a power which we cannot conceive to have been delegated to one that was not divine. (Romans 9:5) He is Lord of the whole world, and all things in it; of all the nations of the world, Gentiles as well as Jews, and particularly of God’s elect among them both; and therefore he will have the Gospel preached to one, as to another; ( Ephesians 2:17; Romans 10:9-13) .


6.0 CONCLUSION

As the long-awaited Messiah who fulfils Israel’s vocation, Jesus accomplishes the mission of Israel through his own life and work, thereby bringing the blessing of Abraham to the nations, as was promised in the Old Testament. The mission to the Gentiles was not at the expense of mission to Israel, nor was it merely an extension. Instead, Israel was to be the catalyst through which God would accomplish his promises to the world. Jesus was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel in order that through his regathering and reconstituting the true Israel, the blessing of salvation would be released to flow from Israel and into all the world, just as God promised in the Old Testament.

Jesus only had 3 years to preach his Gospel and he needed to concentrate his efforts on teaching the Jews. When Jesus returned after his resurrection, he commissioned his apostles to go into the world and teach the gospel to all people. There was much discussion about this when Christ sent His Apostles into the world to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Peter was one who thought the gospel was only for the Israelites. But the Gospel is not meant for just a few but for the whole world. So, even though Christ was only sent to the Israelites the others were not forgotten but they were to receive the message for a difference source. Jesus said that He was sent to the Israelites as the Promised One, but He sent His apostles to “all nations” to teach, so that it was to them that He entrusted the rest of His mission of salvation. In Matthew 28: 18–20 “… ‘All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all things I have commanded you. I shall be with you all the days until the end of this world’.” Jesus is faithful to His mission even today, and He calls all sinners to repent and join His father’s house. He continues to seek and save the lost (Matthew 11:29; 18:3–4; Revelation 3:20).

In this way, the promise of God to Abraham (Genesis 22: 18)  and Jacob (Genesis 28: 13-14)  in regard to their blessing even affecting all nations would be fulfilled, “And through you and your Offspring all nations on the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed Me”. So, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just for the Jews, but they were the first to receive it. Although they were the first to hear it, they will be the last to finally accept it, and the first shall be last and the last shall be first, as prophesied.

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