Jesus’ Ministry to the Jews
Jesus’ ministry was focused on the Jews. He said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). His short ministry of 3 1/3 years had to be given primarily to the chosen people, though when occasion offered itself, He did not deny the Gentiles the blessings He gave to His own people. During that brief period, He showed no favoritism to all whether the distinctions were of social rank, or knowledge, or wealth. And even His enemies acknowledged that (Matthew 22:16).
The Lord originally made His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 15:18-21; Genesis 17:1-8; 26:3; Genesis 28:13). His aim was that the house of Israel may be a tool to reach and save the Gentiles. And He told Moses that the purpose of revealing His mighty deeds to the chosen people was that “He might show His power, and that His name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
The Savior did not love the Jews more than the Gentiles. The Jews considered themselves to be God’s chosen because of the special divine grace that had been bestowed on them in the giving of the Mosaic Law. Yet, in God’s heart, the chosen people were no greater than the Gentiles. God loves all people. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
However, the Savior’s mission to reach the whole world was to be accomplished through the lives of His disciples. Jesus gave them His great commission just before His ascension to heaven (Matthew 28:19). This commission was to be carried out after the disciples got empowered with the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). With time, Jewish Christians understood the fact that God considered all men everywhere eligible to become citizens of the kingdom of heaven (Acts 9:9–18, 32–35; 10:1–48; 15:1–29; Romans 1:16; 9:24; etc.).
Today, Christian workers are to break all barriers between races and regard all men brothers before God, and to remember that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). The apostle James stressed this truth to all who wished to be true disciples of Christ (ch. 2:1–9). And Paul, the preacher to the Gentiles, taught this same principle saying, “but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:10–11).
In His service,