ESV - 24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
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Jesus was in the area of Tyre and Sidon, a coastal region in extreme northeastern Galilee (Matthew 15:21) when a Canaanite woman came to Him with a request to heal her demon-possessed daughter. For...
Question: "Why did Jesus say that He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel?" I believe Michael thoroughly answered the question but this does by necessity create a flip side. What of the millions of souls represented by numerous tribes and civilizations throughout Biblical history that perished? In many cases their destruction and sometimes annihilation was ordained by God himself. What of these Gentiles? I personally see no evidence of God commissioning or ordering evangelization of any Gentile nation with the exception of Jonah's call to Nineveh. Considering he was sent to the Assyrians who I understand wrote the book on terrorism, I can certainly appreciate his reluctance. Yes, God saved a few Gentiles in ancient history but very few. Any other conclusion is totally non-biblical and the result of human rationalization which can sometimes lead to self deception. Paul stated in Romans 15:4 "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." I pray that we learn by what means and at what time in history salvation was made available to the nations corporately. Oh how we should bow the knee in humble submission and adoration to the only one who can save us from sin, death and hell. Ephesians 2:11 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;" v.12 "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:" v. 13 "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."
Because we are not told what Jesus was thinking, we must look at what we do know. From what He said, we know Jesus was saying He "was sent", meaning he was on a mission from God and that His current mission was to the Jewish people. Chronologically his current purpose had to do with the Jewish people. (Also as Jesus is God as part of the Trinity it could also be said without any change of meaning that I chose to come.) Even so, we know from the rest of the story that Jesus still cared about her and did as she asked. The next thing we can look at is what happened because of what he said. One thing that happened is this story made the book! It is in the Bible! A paraphrase of a biblical verse says "Many other things happened in the life of Jesus. I suppose that if they were all written down, even the whole world would not hold the books." So that verse and every other is in for a reason and that reason is us. For us to learn lessons from. Immediately though, what happened is she had to "fight" for his attention by not just giving up and walking away. She had to demonstrate her Faith. In another place (and again I paraphrase) Jesus said, "Even an unjust judge will give you justice if you petition him often enough." How much more will Jesus help us if we show Him Faith and "fight" for our beliefs. Another lesson we can learn is that even if you or I are on an important mission, we can't ignore the needs of others. Even, maybe even especially, if we are doing God's work. If we see someone who is reaching out for Jesus, we need to stop and pay attention to their needs without letting ourself be distracted from His purpose. (Or just someone in need.) Another thing we can glean from His statement is to remember we are grafted into the vine that is the Nation of Israel as adopted children (with all the rights of heirs). So it was necessary for Him to come to them first. It does not mean He loved us less!
Jesus came as the promised messiah to the nation of Israel. They as a nation rejected their own savior. After Jesus went to the cross salvation was opened to any one who would believe on Him as the savior of the world. First John 2:2 And He is the propitiation for our sins, but not ours only, but for the sins of the whole world, to all that believe. Romans 1:16 Salvation is to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, and we all sin, but the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE, through Jesus Christ our Lord. John 3:18 Believers can never be condemned again. Unbelievers are condemned already because they have not believed on the name of the Son of God. We are the children of Abraham. Romans 4:2 If Abraham were saved by works, then he would have something to glory in, but not before God. Abraham was justified by faith, 430 years before the law was given by Moses. Where there is no law, sin can not be imputed. Romans 4:6:8 He imputes His righteousness to us, and will no more impute sin to our account. The Gospel of John is a turning point in Jesus ministry. He began preaching the gospel of grace for salvation just by believing on His name. John 1:12 The thief on the cross was saved by just believing Jesus was who He said He was. Salvation by faith plus nothing.
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