Jesus Christ



50. Why did Jesus Christ, when He sent the twelve apostles to preach the Kingdom, say to them: “Do not go into the way of the gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans” (Matthew 10:5)?



Because the Kingdom of God had to be preached to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles and the Samaritans. Jesus Himself said to His disciples, when the woman of Canaan asked Him to cast a demon out of her daughter, that He was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24); so, not to the Gentiles nor to the Samaritans, but only to the Jews. He had been sent by His Father to the people of Israel, consequently at that time His apostles also had to be sent to the people of Israel only. That Jesus was sent only to the Jews was confirmed by the apostle Paul when he wrote to the Romans that “Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers” (Romans 15:8 – NKJV).

Therefore, it was a matter of time because the time when the Gospel had to be preached openly to the Gentiles had not yet come. That time came after Jesus was taken up into heaven. For the Scripture says that God sent the apostle Peter to preach the Gospel to some Gentiles (the centurion Cornelius, his household and his friends) who lived in Caesarea (with regard to that event, Peter said to the apostles and the elders gathered in Jerusalem: “God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe” Acts 15:7 – NKJV); and He appointed Paul apostle to the Gentiles, for when Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the way to Damascus, He said to him: “But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:16-18 – NKJV).

As for the Samaritans, it is true that in the days of Jesus many of the Samaritans of the city of Sychar believed on Jesus because of the word of that woman of Samaria who testified: “He told me all that I ever did”, however the preaching to the Samaritans began with the evangelist Philip in the city of Samaria (Acts 8:5-13), and was continued by the apostles Peter and John, who preached the Gospel in many villages of the Samaritans (Acts 8:25).