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Bible verses about Lost Sheep of the House of Israel
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Jeremiah 31:10

God says that He, "who scattered Israel," will also gather it "as a shepherd does his flock." He asks that His message be declared "in the isles afar off." This is not Crete or even Cyprus or Malta. The islands must be far away, and northwest of Jerusalem.

Here again, God says He will gather Israel from "the isles afar off." Note the plural, isles.

Charles Whitaker
Searching for Israel (Part Eight): The Scattering of Ten-Tribed Israel


 

Matthew 10:5-7

In Matthew 15:24, He says of His own commission, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Christ sent His apostles only to the scattered Israelites, most of whom had migrated into Europe centuries before. Acts 2:39 shows that they were not sent even to every last one of "the lost sheep" of Israel! Peter says, "For the promise [of the gift of the Holy Spirit] is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off [geographically and in time], as many as the Lord our God will call." Thus, the Father limits the preaching of the gospel to those He calls! The apostle urges them to save themselves from this "perverse generation," that is, those who were not offered God's Spirit (verse 40).

As we saw, Christ said that He was not sent to the Gentiles. So why did He send Paul to the Gentiles? (Romans 11:13). Is that not a contradiction? No, Christ does not contradict Himself. It was prophesied. Paul's commission was in addition to the other apostles' work; it did not negate or replace their going to Israel, for even Paul's commission included preaching to Israel (Acts 9:15).

The main thrust of the gospel is the work among the descendants of Israel, not the Gentiles! The world would have us believe that God stopped working with the "Jews," and the Gentiles became His chosen people. Nothing could be further from the truth! He sent only one apostle to the Gentiles but all the others to the people of Israel!

In Romans 9—11, Paul clearly explains why Christ sent him to preach among Gentiles. Because His own nation, the Jews (as well as the other tribes of Israel), rejected Jesus their Savior, He called a new people as the "Israel of God" (Romans 9:1-8; Galatians 6:16). God is very resourceful!

Paul quotes Moses, who prophesied of the Israelites' failure to keep faith with God. "I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will anger you by a foolish nation" (Romans 10:19). Paul concludes: "I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles" (Romans 11:11).

That is why Paul was sent to preach to Gentiles. Romans 11:17-26 shows that God broke Israelite branches off the Abrahamic family tree because they did not believe Him. In their place He grafted in believing Gentiles, making them children of Abraham (see Galatians 3:29). In the future, God will graft back in the broken-off Israelites (Romans 11:23)!

The time of Israel's regrafting begins when God adds the "fullness of the Gentiles" to the church. This "fullness of the Gentiles" must be a very small number in comparison to all those called into the church. God tells Ezekiel, "For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, NOT TO MANY PEOPLE of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you" (Ezekiel 3:5-6). The church has always been a "little flock" and the Gentiles in it even fewer.

Staff
'Go Ye Therefore Into All the World...'


 

Matthew 15:24

The punishment of Israel had not ended even in Christ's time, more than 700 years after Israel's fall. In about AD 31, Christ says He was "not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24). They were still "lost" in His day, not having returned to Canaan.

Charles Whitaker
Searching for Israel (Part Seven): Seven Years' Punishment


 

Matthew 15:24

Jesus seems to encourage the woman's hopelessness by saying, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (see also Matthew 10:5-6). As a Gentile woman, she normally would not have had any right to receive help from and access to Jesus, since His responsibility at the time was to those of the circumcision, Israelites (see, for instance Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 2:11).

A contradiction seems to lurk here, since He came as the Promised Seed in whom all nations would be blessed (Psalm 72:11; Luke 2:32; Romans 15:9-12). He had also declared that other sheep, not only Israelites, must be brought to Him (John 10:16). Although He came as Savior of the world, there was purpose in restricting His ministry to Israel (specifically to the Jews). His first priority was to fulfill the Messianic, redemptive promises to them. He was reserving the good news of the salvation of the Gentiles until He had fulfilled His God-given responsibility. In following this plan of salvation, His initial work was specifically to Israelites.

Jesus' work thus began locally in preparation for it to spread to all nations. His followers would go into the entire world and preach the gospel (see Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8), which His death and resurrection made possible. Therefore, Jesus' personal, physical ministry was limited to Judea and Galilee where He performed the majority of His miracles and delivered His teachings. The scattered instances of Gentiles receiving His goodness are forerunners of the Spirit being poured out on Israelite and Gentile alike (Acts 10:1-31; Romans 11:11).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Syro-Phoenecian (Part One)


 

 




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