Friday, March 24, 2023
“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry” (Mark 11:12 KJV).
Who is this hungry man? Who else is a hungry man in the Bible? What exactly has caused their hunger?
The Lord Jesus during the Books of Matthew through John hungers for spiritual fruit in Israel, wanting Israel to become His kingdom of priests in the Earth. Nevertheless, the majority of Israel refuses Him during His earthly ministry, thus rejecting their opportunity to be God’s channel of salvation and blessing to the Gentiles (see Isaiah 60:1-3; Zechariah 8:20-23; Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 3:25,26; et al.). With Israel in unbelief, lacking a relationship with the one true God through Jesus Christ, that Jewish nation is unable to share God’s words with the nations (Gentiles).
In early Acts, the Apostle Peter is experiencing the same difficulty, so he too is hungry (chapter 10). Despite a believing remnant, Israel as a whole stubbornly remains in unbelief, so the Gentiles cannot be reached. In fact, the Little Flock has undergone much persecution since Christ’s Ascension in chapter 1, and this militant rejection of Christ makes the situation look hopeless. Without Israel’s national conversion, the Jewish people still cannot be God’s channel of salvation and blessing to the Gentiles. The covenants and promises of God are left unfulfilled. It is at this point in chapter 10 that Almighty God intervenes to communicate to Peter how he, in Joppa, will now visit and preach to some Gentiles in Caesarea (about a day away). This departure from the prophetic order of “Israel first” signals to Peter and the rest of the Little Flock that God is doing something different. It is not until many years later that Peter finally realizes his meeting with Gentile Cornelius was to prepare him to defend Paul’s Gentile apostleship in chapter 15 at the Jerusalem Conference.
As a final addendum, we can remind ourselves of the Apostle Paul’s yearning for unbelieving Israel to be saved during the latter Acts period (Romans 10:1-3). Like the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Apostles Peter and Paul, we should long for Father God’s will to be accomplished in our ministry. Also being “hungry for souls,” we “hold forth the word of life” (Philippians 2:12-16).