Did Jesus Reject the Gentile Nations?



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  • Did Jesus Reject the Gentile Nations?

    22And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
    23But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
    24But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    25Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
    26But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
    27And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
    28Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

    Is Jesus refering the children the Jews?? the bread is Jesus?? and the dogs Gentiles?? Is he just testing her faith here? I know that if I were that women i would of left with broken heart. Sometimes I feel like God is really concern about the Jews and Israel and could careless about us Gentiles...i know that's not true but it's in the back of my head.

    Matthew 10:5-6 5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit[a] did not permit them.

    When i read these verses it really hurts because it seems like Jesus only turn to the Gentiles because the Jews rejected him. What makes the Jews so special?? So if the Jews as a nation accepted Jesus would that mean we are left out and doom to eternal hell? I'm really want to understand so it won't hurt as much.

  • #2
    Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, known as the Patriarchs, are both the physical and spiritual ancestors of Judaism. They founded the religion now known as Judaism, and their descendants are the Jewish people. Eventually, the one true Creator that Abram had worshipped called to him, and made him an offer: if Abram would leave his home and his family, then God would make him a great nation and bless him. Abram accepted this offer, and the covenant between God and the Jewish people was established. The promise to the generations throughout time. The Jews are the people of promise, to whom Christ was sent at the beginning of his ministry.

    You also will need to read the synoptic Gospel of Mark to glean important details which are added from the parallel passage in Mark 7.24-29:
    “Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 "First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." 28 "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29 Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter."

    Of great interest is the combined revelation granted by both gospels. It not only records Jesus' withdrawal from the opposition of the Pharisees and teachers of the law but contrasts their approach to the Messiah with that of this woman. They belong to the covenant people but take offense at the conduct of Jesus' disciples, challenge his authority, and are so defective in understanding the Scriptures that they show themselves not to be plants the heavenly Father has planted. But this woman is a pagan, a descendent of ancient enemies, and with no claim on the God of the covenant. Yet in the end she approaches the Jewish Messiah and with great faith asks only for grace; and her request is granted.

    Theologically, Jesus was sent (as Messiah) to the Jew only. The biblical intent was that the Nation of Israel would accept the Messiah, receive the Spirit, and turn-around and evangelize/minister to the whole world (as they will someday--Romans 11.15). The Gentiles were included in the covenant promises to Abraham, but the blessings to them would come "through Abraham" (Gen 12.3). Jesus remarks in John 4: "Salvation is from the Jews." So, His PUBLIC ministry was semi-confined to the nation of Israel. In fact, this biblical narrative is the only known traveling of the adult Jesus outside of Palestine--and it was to hide!

    Jesus (as were traditional rabbi's of the day) was fond of using questions, challenges, and puzzles to engage a student in the learning/growing process. Silence-as-response was used by Rabbi's in teaching and Jesus had used silence-as-response in John 8.1-11, to dramatically heighten the event, and may be using it here in this way with this Canaanite women. Or He might be simply developing her faith, as He did when He listened to the disciples' many discussions without responding until later. He obviously had SOME point to it, since He did NOT simply send her away without consideration.

    This passage proves to be a masterful teaching session by the Lord. It does not actually propagate the traditionally-assumed insults to the woman, nor the insensitive rejection of her anxious request. Instead, it shows a sensitivity to her urgent need AND the disciples' needs. Through the skillful selection of a warm, household image, Jesus creates a situation that leads the woman to a more informed faith, a more precise hope, and the disciples to a greater appreciation of their role and of their privilege. Jesus has stayed true to His priority at the time (His disciple's needs), but was willing to interrupt that (briefly) to minister to a needy, faith-filled heart and to use that in leading His disciples to the greater rest that comes from greater faith in God. And this situation, recorded in scripture, challenges US to recognize His power and His willingness to meet our needs, although we MAY have to learn something in the process too.


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