First To The Jews

Q. I have a quick question concerning to the Jew first. Jesus commanded his disciples to only witness to the Jews at the beginning of his ministry. We see in Acts Paul also went to the synagogues first before sharing the gospel with the gentiles. Do you feel this is an example we all should follow, to share with Jews first and then to gentiles if we cannot reach or find any Jews? I have a fuzzy idea why Jesus and Paul did this, but any ideas you might have as to why the Jew first would be greatly appreciated.

A. Even though God knew that Israel would reject the Messiah, He had to make them a bona fide offer of the Kingdom before turning to the Gentiles. This is why Jesus sent the first group of disciples only among the Jews, and why He said He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel. (Matt. 15:24) Although Paul called himself the apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13), he often went to the local synagogue first when coming to a new town, out of love for His own people.

In my opinion, this was not meant to become a general principle in evangelism, although I’m aware that some Messianic groups see it that way. Romans 1:16, where the phrase “first to the Jew” originates is simply recalling the order in which the Gospel was presented on Earth.

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