Jesus was sent for all nations

(O'Neill Marais) #1

Hello RZIM Community

My Muslim friend asked me the following question:

“How can Jesus (P.B.U.H) die for all humanities sins when he says that he is sent to the Jews only?”

The scripture he quoted was Matthew 10:5-6 were Jesus sends out the 12 Apostles. The second piece of scripture he quoted was Matthew 15:21-28, were the Canaanite women begs Jesus to cast out a demon in her daughter and he initially tells her that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Isreal.

How do I respond to this question?

(SeanO) #2

@oneillmarais I think it is helpful to trace God’s promise of Messiah all the way from Genesis, where it begins for all humanity. There will be a seed of the woman that will crush the serpent’s head. Then, Abraham is promised offspring who will be a blessing not only to Israel, but to the nations. Then, in Isaiah it is clear that the Messiah will bless not only Israel, but the entire world.

God’s plan ways always to use Israel to be a light unto the nations - to save all mankind. We see this fact when we read the stories of Ruth, Rahab or Naaman in the Old Testament - Gentiles welcomed into God’s Kingdom and in the Messianic genealogy. In Jesus’ own ministry he healed the Centurion’s child and saved the Samaritan woman / her town. And the apostles soon went out unto the Gentiles - God the Holy Spirit specifically gave them the gift of tongues to reach the nations within Jerusalem.

Jesus came to save the Jews in order that the world might be saved. He came to establish the Church to be a light to the nations. He came to make a New Covenant that would replace the Old Covenant - a covenant in His blood.

Genesis 3:14-15 - So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 22:15-18 - The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Isaiah 42:1-4 - “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

Isaiah 49:6 - “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

As the long-awaited Messiah who fulfills Israel’s vocation, Jesus accomplishes the mission of Israel through his own life and work, thereby bringing the blessing of Abraham to the nations, as was promised in the Old Testament. The mission to the Gentiles was not at the expense of mission to Israel, nor was it merely an extension. Instead, Israel was to be the catalyst through which God would accomplish his promises to the world. Jesus was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel in order that through his regathering and reconstituting the true Israel, the blessing of salvation would be released to flow from Israel and into all the world, just as God promised in the Old Testament.

The fact that Jesus helped the Canaanite woman, even though His mission was to the Jews, is a significant detail in the Gospel narrative. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus gave other indications that His power and compassion reached to all people. He healed a Roman centurion’s servant (Luke 7:1–10). He traveled through the Gentile region of the Gerasenes (Mark 5:1). He ministered in a Samaritan city (John 4).

Jesus came to save everybody (1 John 2:2). Jesus Christ is God Himself (John 1:1). Jesus died on the cross as the payment for all our sins, and He rose from death in resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). Jesus said He was the Good Shepherd, and He predicted that His flock would be greatly expanded: “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16).

(Jimmy Sellers) #3

@oneillmarais your friend is fortunate that God put you in to his life and I will be praying that you can find some common ground. I want to share a link from a previous thread. I am including my response to the question

Please do go to the link and read the entire thread as I am sure that it will be helpful.
I know that this did not address your original question but it will give you another approach to your discussion as I said in my link if Abdu Murray wanted someone to challenge him maybe your friend feels the same way. I like to remind people Christianity and Islam both believe in the Jesus, then can’t both be right about who he is but they can both be wrong. Jesus in the Quran is a good place to start.

(Lakshmi Mehta) #4

@oneillmarais, As @SeanO has answered the overarching story of the Bible is that salvation is from the Jews to all nations and not just for the Jews. Another verse in Jesus’s own words that may be helpful is -

John 10:16. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Sheep in the Bible always refers to the true believers in Christ and the fold in this context refers to Israel. Here’s an article that explains this further.

Paul further clarifies in Roman’s 9 -11 of how not all Israel are descendants of Israel. True spiritual Israel are those who believe in righteousness through faith. The promises for Israel are not for the physical Israel but for those who trust God for their righteousness.

Rom 9:8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Rom 10:12-13 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

To understand the concept of spiritual Israel, here’s another link:

I hope this will be helpful and I didnt make it more confusing :slightly_smiling_face:. Just said a quick prayer for your friend.

(O'Neill Marais) #5

Thank you @SeanO, @Jimmy_Sellers and @Lakshmismehta. Your words are of tremendous help. I am so thankful for you and for this community. I live abroad in a foreign country away from any believing community, and it is wonderfully encouraging to me to be able to reach out to you for Godly Council.

I wrote a response to my friend, and I trust the Holy Spirit to engage his mind and heart. Thank you for your prayers also!