On Christians and Judaism #2

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I still have a little trouble understanding why the First Christians didn’t get it when Jesus told them what they supposed to do about the Gospel.

And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:18–20 KJ2000

How did they miss the word nations and how on earth were they going to do that if they didn’t go to the nations. They eventually did, but not for some time. Peter had to be shown in a vision and the pouring out of the spirit that it was okay to baptize an Italian.

I suppose we are so far removed from the culture of that time that we can’t appreciate the prejudice that Jews had toward any non-Jew. (And that is what Gentile has come to mean—non-Jew—although in Greek it was a broader term, meaning nations, including Jews.) Prejudice dies hard, as some of us are old enough to recall. So hard, in fact, that even plain instructions from Jesus couldn’t erase it. Let’s see how, after his vision, Peter was confronted by other believers in Jerusalem.


Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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