I know, it’s a bad and old pun. But it fit for this story. You see, the nation of Israel found their start and history near the Nile but were later found in denial. As generations passed and they faced wars from outside and from within, their view of Gentiles (and non-Jews) grew worse and worse. They seem to forget that their own scripture pointed the fact that the Gentiles would be included in the salvation they waited to receive.
Paul reminds them of multiple scriptures in Romans 15 (9-12):
As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, [Psalm 18:49]
and sing to your name.”
10 And again it is said,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” [Deut 32:43]
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, [Psalm 117:1]
and let all the peoples extol him.”
12 And again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse will come, [Isa 11:10]
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”
Repeatedly in their own scriptures were examples that the Savior would be a savior of all nations. The rejoicing and celebration would come from all nations. Just as Peter would deny his Lord several times before being filled with the Holy Spirit and becoming the ‘rock’ that Jesus had already claimed, the Jews would also continue to deny. They would deny that this lowly Nazarene could possible be the Savior. They would deny that any Gentiles (the dogs that they were) could possibly be included in the salvation. They would deny that this Christ, whom they crucified, could possibly have risen. They too have denied the Lord multiple times.
But just as Jesus foreknew Peter’s denial, forgave him and empowered him to be a great apostle on His behalf, He also foreknew that Israel would deny Him as well. Just as He welcomed Peter back after this betrayal, He will also welcome Israel back as well.
We should never be confused or surprised when people deny that Jesus Christ is Lord. This denial is nothing new. People who deny Him are in good company. In addition to the two examples already given, there is Paul (who denied and even persecuted Christians), and of course doubting Thomas. None of this surprises Jesus and none of it should surprise us either.
Despite their repeated denial, we are to continue to shout His name, share His gospel and show His love. Do you know anyone personally that still denies Jesus? Pray for them, but don’t give up on them. Some of the greatest and strongest Christians in history were also once deniers.
I pray that you appreciate my blogs. They are my way of journaling as I read His word. If you do like them, please be sure to click the Follow Hisfamily Ministries button left of this post AND to spread the word. Share these posts with others and perhaps they will be blessed too.