Cover 2017-07-02

Ron Writes

God’s Work Among the Gentiles

The story of the magi is amazing! It’s only in Matthew. The most Jewish book, with a Jewish audience and a Jewish emphasis tells us about foreigners coming to see Jesus. Who are these men? How did they know it was “His star”? Why would they want to worship a king? What did they know about Jesus? These Gentiles must have had some kind of Divine guidance.

The Old Testament (OT) follows the development of the Jewish nation. The Messiah would come from the Jews. Yet, God never discarded the Gentiles nor did he ever cease caring for them.

Man was created in God’s image. There was created in man an inward, spiritual connection to God. Something Divine written on the human heart. Paul speaks of the Gentiles who even without a law (written) had a law written in their hearts (Rom. 2:14- 16). There’s a common knowledge shared by humans that some things are always wrong. Even when laws or social norms allow certain behavior, folks are often convicted by their conscience that their actions are wrong. If you compare the moral teachings of the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans it will strike you how similar they are and how much they reflect the moral laws of Scripture.

When Paul spoke about God on Mars Hill (Acts 17), he said, “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him,” (vs.26-27). There are many Gentiles mentioned in the OT who acknowledged God and were blessed by Him.

Rahab was a Canaanite prostitute, yet she has one of the greatest confessions of God (Josh. 2:9, 11) and God blessed her. Ruth was a Moabite woman who has an entire book in the OT telling her story. Both these women are included in the lineage of Jesus. Another book about Gentiles is Jonah and God’s desire to save those of Nineveh. We know that God blessed Naaman for scripture says, “by him (Naaman) Jehovah had given victory to Aram” (2 Kgs. 5:1).

God has always desired a relationship with all peoples. Psalm 117 calls on all nations to praise Him. Jesus upset his neighbors when he reminded them of God’s dealings with Gentiles (Lk. 4:25-27). God desires a relationship with every nation of peoples. John the Revelator saw “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nations and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne” (Rev. 7:9). God desires a relationship with all of mankind and has provided a way through His Son!