Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Jewish Only Message

1/24/13

 

Jesus proclaimed Himself to be a Jews only Messiah. His message and ministry was directed exclusively to a Jewish audience. This is borne out in Matt 15:24 and John 4:22.

 

It is only years after the death of Jesus that His disciples come to realize that the blessings enjoyed by the Jews through Christ were also available to Gentiles (Acts 10). Only after Paul is commissioned by Jesus to be a disciple out of due season to the Gentiles, is there a concerted effort to preach to non-Jews.

 

In view of these facts, it raises a legitimate question as to the appropriateness of applying all that Jesus said and taught to every human being in all ages. For instance, when Jesus spoke of a judgment according works in Matthew 25, what makes us think this is a judgment of other than Jews. That is especially so when we notice that Matthew 25 is merely a continuation of Jesus' discourse about the destruction of Jerusalem, beginning in Matthew 23. That destruction was most assuredly an exclusively Jewish event, at least in its physical manifestation. Obviously, a judgment according to works is based on law and not grace, again favoring seeing this judgment as Jewish. (Significantly, the words translated " all nations" in Mt 25:32 could alternatively be rendered "all tribes", i.e. all of Israel only.)

 

In order for any of what Jesus taught to be universally applicable, then a part of what we read in the Gospel accounts must speak to Gentiles. But that does not mean that all or even most of what He said was intended for a non-Jewish audience. As with all of the Bible, the question of applicability outside a limited timeframe and limited readership is debatable. At the same time determining what applies universally is essentially important to our use of the Bible as our spiritual guidebook.

 

Jesus was clearly what many Jews perceived as a religious maverick, sidestepping the rigid strictures of the Law in favor of eternal principles and counter intuitiveness. Thus, despite His Jews only mission, His rejection actually facilitated His message and its subsequent transmission to the rest of the world. God operates mysteriously, for sure, making rejection and self sacrifice the implements of ultimate fulfillment in the plan of God. 

 

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