Contrary to Jewish thinking and expectations, the Messiah would be the Redeemer for all nationalities, not just the Jews. In fact, the Jews were to be the ones to proclaim God’s grace to the rest of the world. God told Abraham, “In you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). It is therefore rather ironic that the Jews would resist the concept that God’s good news was for all peoples.
The reality that Jesus’ message would be for all mankind was readily apparent early in His ministry. The first woman He reached was a Samaritan (John 4:26). Concerning the Roman centurion whose servant He healed, the Lord said, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel” (Matt. 8:10).
But the idea of Messiah coming to preach to and redeem some Gentiles was still anathema to the Jews. When Paul addressed a large number of Jews in Jerusalem and told them God had commanded him, “Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles,” that sparked an intense reaction from them: “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!” (Acts 22:21, 22).A real gospel stumbling block for the Jews was the truth that redemption and fellowship with God were for Gentiles as well as for them. But the saving message Jesus proclaimed has always been for people from every part of the world, without distinction—a fact over which we can all rejoice.
Increasingly each day, the makeup of America’s population reflects the faces of numerous nationalities and people groups. How open is your heart to their need for Christ’s salvation?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610