I read a book once that was entitled, “Do Jesus And Paul Agree”. The author tried to synchronize the four gospels with Paul’s writings and tried to put many round pegs into square holes. Unfortunately, that is happening in many Churches today, and unfortunately from modern pulpits. Many preachers are still trying to balance the Biblical account of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with Paul’s epistles. It cannot be done because of one very basic and big difference; they are speaking to two different peoples. Jesus and the Twelve are teaching and preaching to the Jews while Paul is teaching and preaching to the Gentiles. In my opinion the author of that book failed miserably in his mission of synchronizing their writings because he missed that very basic fact.

People today are still trying to balance a check book that is written on two different accounts. You cannot synchronize the four Gospels with Paul’s Epistles; they just are not written to the same people. You still can’t put a round peg in a square hole, so back up and “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. Stop trying to make the Jewish Church of Acts 1 & 2 the same as the Body of Christ in Paul’s epistles. The Body of Christ is taken primarily from Gentile believers, but with some exceptions. It would do us well to realize that God has two very different “chosen people”, the Jews, the nation of Israel, and the Body of Christ, the Church. The Jews are His earthly people and the Church is His heavenly people.

Jews don’t speak of dying and going to heaven like a Christian does; he is looking for the kingdom to come on earth. Job said in 19:25 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth”. But, when we speak of the Church, the Body of Christ, we read in Ephesians 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ”. We are His chosen people, seated in heavenly places, in Christ; Jew and Gentile both. To start, lets look at some scripture texts that shed more light on this subject. First, we must learn that Jesus was born ‘under the Law’, He walked during his earthly ministry ‘under the Law’ and taught His disciples, ‘under the Law’. Keep that in mind as we progress.

Look at Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, v5- To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons”. Jesus’ whole earthly ministry was under the “Dispensation of the Law”; He ministered ‘under the Law’. Look too at this scripture in Matthew 10:1-7, “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. V2- Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; v3- Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; v4- Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. v5- These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: v6- But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. v7- And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Do you see what I mean? A lot of people read their Bible and never see that. Jesus told them to avoid gentiles! Imagine that… Jesus also taught his disciples many things that they didn’t understand or that they were blinded from seeing. For example, look at Luke 18:31-34 “Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. V32- For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: v33- And they shall scourge him and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again”. You would think that they would be very upset and question Him concerning these words, but, …in the next verse the Bible says: verse 34, “And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken”. They were blinded from this saying and understood not.

We need to remember that Jesus was born a Jew, sent to the Jews, for the purpose of redeeming Israel (Galatians 4:5 above). Since God never fails, we must realize that He knew all things and that nothing ever catches God by surprise. That too is a fact that most modern Christians fail to realize; that God is Sovereign, Eternal, and Infallible, and that He has an eternal purpose that He purposed in Christ, see Ephesians 3:11 “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord”. By the way, He kept that purpose a secret from all the Old Testament prophets but revealed it to the Apostle Paul by Christ Himself at the right time in history.

God knows the end from the beginning; He had a secret, The Mystery, that Jesus never revealed during his earthly ministry. It was this same Jesus that revealed The Mystery to Paul after his conversion. In Deuteronomy 29:29 the Bible says, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever…”. God kept His secret from all the Old Testament Prophets, including Isaiah and Jeremiah, but revealed it to Paul when the time was right. Jesus kept many things from the disciples that He later revealed through the Apostle Paul, who was THE Apostle to the Gentiles.

Keep in mind also that the Gentiles were considered by the Jews of Jesus’ day to be ‘dogs’ and not worthy of fellowshipping and especially eating with them. Their diet was ‘not according to the Mosaic Law’ and therefore, they were considered by a good Jew to be ‘unclean’ and therefore to be avoided. Why do you think that Jonah would rather ‘walk the plank’ than go to Nineveh and preach the gospel to them like God had ordered him to do? He was a good Jew and didn’t want to be seen with those ‘unclean’ gentiles. And, the same thing later with Peter when he was ordered by the Spirit to go to the house of Cornelius to preach to them that they would be converted. He didn’t want to go. In a vision he saw a sheet let down by the four corners with all manner of four-footed beasts on it and the Spirit told him to ‘slay and eat’. He replied, NO, there is no broth of swine in my vessels! You won’t catch me eating those unclean things, he protested in his vision. And when he returned home to Jerusalem, he caught it from his fellow Jews for having gone unto the gentiles.

God would use this experience by Peter to bring resolve to the question of Acts chapter 15, the Jerusalem Council, when Peter stood up and came to the aid of Paul who had come under severe persecution by the Jews for having gone to the gentiles. Peter said to the council that God had made a difference and sent him to the gentiles. So, in the end Paul and Barnabas were given the right hand of fellowship and they agreed that Paul should go to the uncircumcised (gentiles) and that Peter, James and John would go to the circumcised (Jews). Read Acts Chapter 15: 1-35 and Galatians 1: 1-18, and 2: 1-9. These scriptures will answer much of this question concerning the Jews and the Church. There are many more things to be discussed, but we will deal with them in future blogs. Amen.