“These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:5-6)
I have read right over this and never given it any thought. Why does Jesus instruct them to go not into any city of the “non Jew” (being that of the Samaritans), but instead specifically to only the Jews? At least, that is what I infer from this.
Theologian John Gill offers this:
…he commanded them, as their Lord and Master; he gave them strict orders, which he expected them to comply with, and closely enjoined them, as they must answer it to him again, saying, go not into the way of the Gentiles; meaning, not the customs’ and manners of the Heathens, they were to avoid; but that they were not to steer their course, or take their journey towards them: they were not, as yet, to go among them, and preach the Gospel to them; the calling of the Gentiles was not a matter, as yet, so clearly revealed and known, nor was the time of their calling come: besides it was the will of God, that the Gospel should be first preached to the Jews, to take off all excuse from them, and that their obstinacy and perverseness in rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, might manifestly appear; and since Christ himself was the minister of the circumcision, he would have his apostles, for the present, whilst he was on earth, act agreeably to the character he bore, that there might be an entire harmony in their conduct.
We can take from this a spiritual maturity and growth process that the Lord will reveal and provide in all of us. It is not necessarily our place to go and preach, or in some cases nag and annoy others “in the name of Jesus” until we truly know the power and deliverance to which we are preaching, or until our ultimate and true calling has been given to us from above.
I have been looking for a message of Christian maturity for some time now, but the right verse seemed to elude me; yes, despite all of the incredible messages from Paul.
Have you been saved and felt God’s commission on your life to “go to the ends of the earth” and testify, but you feel as though once you get there you’ll be silenced by your critics? You feel as though you are prepared to preach the message of salvation to all who may, or may not, want to listen, but once you get that out, ask yourself “How will I ever explain this beyond that moment?”
Maybe God is urging you to be cautious and not run before you can walk, really, really well? Maybe God is urging you be steadfast in His Word, and allow it to seep into and fill the cracks and voids you yourself know to be empty? Maybe, just maybe, He has a plan that if you wait patiently for, will be fulfilled 100x’s over. Maybe, just maybe, once Christ initially commissions the Twelve, His disciples, it is then that He unveils the parable of the sower (ch. 13) to explain how the seed sown on good soil, nurtured, watered, and properly cared for, yields a harvest better than any other.