“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant….” (Luke 4:18-20)
Jesus visited His hometown of Nazareth and, not uncustomarily, read the torah portion in the opening scripture. But, as you can see if you go to Isaiah 61, He didn’t read the whole thing. He closed the book and did not read this sentence: “And the day of vengeance of our God;” Why? Because in His first coming, He came to save as the Lamb of God; not as Judge. That will happen after the seven years of Tribulation.
In Part 2, we discussed that, though dying on the cross for our sins was Jesus’ greatest accomplishment, it was not His primary mission. He came first to minister to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He desperately wanted to reach them!
Because this is a progressive study, it builds on what was discussed in previous articles. So, if you’re unfamiliar with what His primary mission was, below is a link to part 2:
The Visible Kingdom.
One of the things the Angel Gabriel told Jesus’ mother, Mary, was “…the Lord God will give Him (Jesus) the THRONE OF HIS FATHER, DAVID. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:33)
Our Lord Jesus was sent here by His Father to set up the VISIBLE Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. Do you know what would have happened if He succeeded in doing that? It means that if Israel had accepted Him as her Messiah in His first coming, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN KING OVER ALL THE EARTH, REIGNING FROM JERUSALEM SINCE THAT DAY.
How different the last 2,000 years would have been, huh?! Can you imagine? There would have been no need for hospitals because no one was be sick. There would be no court rooms because there were no criminals. We would not need weapons because there were no wars. There would have been no famines, no poverty, no lack of any kind because THE KING OF ALL KINGS was ruling over the whole world! All Israel would be saved and, through her, the entire world would be blessed because Jesus was sitting on the throne of His father, David.
But that didn’t happen. Israel rejected her Messiah…..and the rest is the mashed up mess we call history. Everything turns to mud when man gets his grubby hands on it.
They had The King of Kings in their presence, but they missed their visitation. He was there; He was right there…in their midst…IN THE FLESH! That’s why He went about preaching, as did His cousin, John: “Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”…because it was. It really was! He was telling them that THE KINGDOM, what they so dearly desired, was so near if they would only hear and accept Him.
Jesus In Charge.
All the signs, wonders and miracles Jesus performed were His attempt to show them what life would be like if He were in charge. He healed the sick, He opened the eyes of the blind, He cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, and He cast out devils. You see, where THE King of the KINGDOM is, there can be NO death, NO disease, and NO poverty, only blessing upon blessing upon blessing, health, wholeness and total provision! He went about doing good!
But they rejected Him.
This is why from the cross Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” By saying those words He was putting them all, the entire nation, under the LEVITICAL TRESPASS OFFERING which says:
“If a person commits a trespass, and SINS UNINTENTIONALLY in regard to the holy things of the Lord, then he shall bring to the Lord as his TRESPASS OFFERING a ram without blemish from the flocks, with your valuation in shekels of silver according to the shekel of the sanctuary, as a trespass offering.” (Leviticus 5:15.)
The trespass offering covered anyone who committed a sin of which he was unaware, kind of a just-in-case offering; you know, just in case I forgot one. Jesus put the entire nation under ignorance…in other words, under the tresspass offering, so that the guilt for their rejecting Jesus would be less. What amazing grace!
(For more on the tresspass offering, follow the link below:
God Gave Up?
Did God give up on His people? Yes, for a while. You can see He is hurt and deeply grieved by their rejection. He loved them SO much! Love can be hurt, but it takes that chance anyway. It risks rejection. Better to love and get hurt, than never to have loved at all.
Has God Rejected Israel? No. Even though He is grieved, He has not rejected or forgotten His natural family, nor has the Church replaced Israel. NO WAY! They are still His people under the Abrahamic covenant.
That being said, the Church is in the position that Israel was supposed take. But replaced Israel? Not a chance.
Why do you think Jesus wept so vehemently when He rode into Jerusalem? His heart was literally breaking for His people. He wept audibly over His them because He saw their future without His protection. He saw the Romans destroying His people in 70A.D; He saw 2,000 years of trials and troubles; He saw the holocaust. “How I wish I could have gathered you under my wings like a mother hen gathers her chicks, BUT YOU DIDN’T WANT ME,” He said.
Without Jesus as their covering, 2/3 of all the world’s Jewish population was destroyed in the holocaust. He saw His loved ones being destroyed because they didn’t want Him. No wonder He wept! They rejected the only One Who could have protected them. That’s the reason they went through so much pain and sorrow after they left their land, Israel.
God is an awesome Respector of your free choice. He will not even force His protection on anyone. Had the Jewish people accepted Him, they would never have seen Rome come in and destroy them in 70AD…..and most assuredly, there would NEVER have been a Holocaust.
Please join me in Part 7. We’ll look at the prophecies of the Old Testament. They wrote about all these future events; about the suffering Messiah and the conquering King, but did they fully understand what they wrote? You may follow the link below to continue: