The "Jesus Came To Israel Only" Argument
by Terry W. Benton
The Argument Stated:
MMLJ -- before the cross -- was taught only to the Jews of Israel.
I keep seeing the argument expressed that Jesus spoke only to the lost sheep
of Israel, or only to Israel. The conclusion drawn from that fact is that
"therefore" whatever He said to Israel was never intended to apply beyond
Israel. This includes Jesus' teaching on divorce and remarriage and adultery. MMLJ refers to the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. By "before the Cross" he means all that these books talk about before the story of the cross itself.
Answer to that argument:
1. He spoke the great commission to Jews only, but instructed that what He commanded them was to be taught to all nations. Matthew 28:18-20. Even if it is argued that Matthew 28:20 is talking about the commands He gave in the 40 days after the cross, those were still spoken to Jews only. Therefore, the fact that something was spoken to the Jews first, does not mean that it was only for them. But, notice further....
2. Jesus said that the gospel He had been preaching before the cross to Jews only was to also be preached "in all the world" (Matthew 24:14). Therefore, the fact that He came to the Jews only, is not proof that His words were intended to be limited to them. Jesus here declares that what He had been teaching the Jews only regarding the kingdom was INTENDED to be preached to all nations. But, notice further....
3. The story of the woman who anointed Jesus (Matthew 26:6-13 - before the cross), was to be "preached in the whole world". Therefore, Jesus intended that His actions and interactions with people before the cross, as well as what He was teaching before the cross be among the things that would be "preached in all the world" (not to Jews ONLY). Matthew and Mark are the only places where this story is told. But Jesus intended that this story be told in all the world, not just to the Jews. Therefore, Jesus intended that Matthew and Mark would be among those things that would be "preached in all the world". These things were among the things that would "go forth from Jerusalem". But, notice further....
4. "That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world" (John 1:9). John is writing his book to describe the Light of the world. Even though He came first to the Jews, His intention was to light "every man coming into the world" (not just the Jews). While Jesus was still a baby Simeon said: "A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel" (Luke 2:32). Notice now, that Jesus was intended to be a light to "every man" including Gentiles. Now, at the time John wrote his gospel (long after the Old Testament was nailed to the cross), he can now introduce Jesus as "the true Light which GIVES (present tense) light to every man who comes into the world". John was written to share the true light with everyone, not just the Jews. Therefore, John is not intended to be an Old Testament book for the Jews. The gospel was intended to be "for the Jew FIRST, and ALSO for the Gentile" (Romans 1:16).
It is immaterial that Jesus went first to Israel only. He expressed His clear intentions that what He was preaching before the cross and interactions with people before the cross would be among the things that would be "preached in ALL the world" (Matthew 24:14; 26:9-13). Those things He wanted "preached in all the world" are given to us in the 27 books of the New Testament, all of which are among the Spirit revelations that would "go forth from Jerusalem." Clearly, all 27 books are New Testament books. New Testament books often contain many important Old Testament facts (the gospels, Acts 7, Acts 13, Heb.11, etc.). This does not change them into Old Testament books. Genesis - Exodus19 are in the Old Testament. This section contains patriarchal facts, but that does not turn them into books that do not belong to the Old Testament. Acts 7 talks about patriarchal facts. That does not remove Acts 7 from the New Testament. There are ONLY two testaments. The first testament and the second (See Hebrews 8-10). The first testament contained Genesis thru Malachi. The second testament was written after the first was abolished. The first four books that appear in our present arrangement of the New Testament books tells us things Jesus was preaching that He said would be "preached in all the world." So, every time you hear someone make the "to Jews ONLY" argument, just remember these things.