Wednesday, June 29, 2011
“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. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5,6 KJV).
God’s intention in forming the nation Israel was to establish them as a vessel to preach His salvation to the whole world. He promised to form them into “a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:5,6; Isaiah 60:1-3; et al.). When Israel’s King-Messiah Jesus finally arrived, Israel was spiritually impotent, unable to reach lost Gentiles because she too was lost! Sadly, Israel had forgotten why God formed her in the first place.
During Christ’s earthly ministry, God’s covenant people are “scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 10:36). Israel, for the most part, was rebellious toward God in Christ’s day. Her Temple was corrupt, and her priesthood was apostate. There was only a remnant of believing Jews.
Christ called them “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (today’s Scripture). He explained that He came “to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10) and “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).
In Matthew 18:12-14 and Luke 15:3-7, Christ tells the parable of a man who owned 100 sheep, one of which is lost. The man leaves the 99 sheep, and seeks out the one sheep. This parable is symbolic of God seeking the nation Israel. Unfortunately, the vast number of Israelites could not care less about God seeking them and rescuing them from their corrupt and poor spiritual state. The one sheep represents the believing remnant in Israel.
Today, in this the Dispensation of Grace, Israel is still lost, spiritually blinded (Romans 11:11,15,25). The day is coming, however, when God will reconcile national Israel unto Himself. At Christ’s Second Coming, Israel will be saved, God will forgive Israel, and God will blot out her national sins (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 11:26-29).
The Jews have a hope! They will not always be “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”