In this series of devotions, I am seeking to explain why Jesus did not come. Or as the thesis statement suggest, “We need to study why Jesus did not come so that we might better understand why he did come.”
In yesterday’s devotional, we noticed that Jesus did not come to counter-balance the Father. He is not the New Testament corrective to a harsh Old Testament deity. It is clear from Scripture that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work in covenantal unity to grant holy justice to some while granting gracious mercy to others.
Today we learn the following: Jesus did not come to bless the Jews. Some would have us believe that Jesus came only for the Jews, but that a sad reception occurred which forced him to change his missional objective. Friends, this is ludicrous if one reads the totality of Scripture.
From before the beginning of time, a selection was made and a book was written. And in the Lamb’s Book of Life, written before the foundation of the world, Jewish and Gentile names could be found.
Then consider all those who existed before Abraham but found salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to be their Savior and King, and the concept of Hebrew ethnicity was not even in their minds.
Abraham himself was not a Jew. He was a idol-worshiping pagan who had non-Jewish parents. But Christ came to love and serve him.
Then there is the promise made to Abraham. When God foretold the birth of Abraham’s greater son — Jesus Christ — a world-wide blessing was attached. Through Abraham, the nations would be improved.
Then consider the multi-ethnic love of God shown through the Old Testament Scriptures. Anyone who wished to join God’s congregation could come, regardless of their ethnicity. Moses’ wife, Rahab, Ruth, Nebuchadnezzar, and thousands of Ninevites found their place in the Kingdom and are presently gathered around the throne of God.
Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah spoke of a future day when Israel, Egypt and Assyria all worship together. To Isaiah God said, ” am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations.” (Is. 42:6) Micah also foretold this international reality.
When Jesus was born, Simeon pronounced his worldwide influence.
Shortly after his birth, worshipers from afar were brought by God to bow the knee and glorify the Son.
And what did Jesus say regarding his coming? John records two quotes from the Messiah:
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 12:47 As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.
According to Jesus, John, and the Holy Spirit who inspired the Gospel writer, Jesus was God’s gift to the world; he was not God’s gift to the Jews alone.
So perhaps this is why Jesus included individuals such as the Samaritan woman, the Canaanite woman, and the Roman centurion in his family.
Perhaps this is why, in the records of Acts, Jesus poured out his Holy Spirit upon Jews and Non-Jews alike. (Acts 2; Acts 10-11)
Perhaps this is why Paul, the great informed Jew, discounted any significant difference between Jews and Greeks. Later he wrote in Romans 3:29, “… Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also.”
Perhaps this is why John, one of Jesus’ best friends penned the words, “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) Then later, in the Revelation, Jesus made sure that John communicated the nations, tribes, and tongues that would enjoy paradise forever and ever.
Friends, Jesus was a Jewish promise. Jesus came through Jewish loins. Jesus was a Jewish man. And Jesus was a lover of the Jews. Jesus walked on Jewish soil. Jesus focused on Jewish congregants. Yes, Jesus came to the Jews first. But he did so with the eternal intention of gathering Jews and Greeks together in one family, one tree, one nation, one people, one kingdom, one church, one flock, and one bride.