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Jesus Sent His Disciples Only to 'The Lost House of Israel', Not to the Gentiles!

Updated on November 16, 2009

Jesus (Yeshua is His Hebrew name) instructed His twelve disciples not to go to the Gentiles to preach, heal, raise the dead, or cast out demons, etc. Is this really true? Let's look..

In Matt. 10:1 Jesus summons His twelve disciples and gives them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and sickness.

In Matt. 10:5 He sends them out, instructing them 'not go to the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel...'

It wasn't until after the death of Jesus that PETER, one of Jesus' disciples, was instructed by an angel to 'kill and eat!' after seeing in a vision the sky opening up and an object like a great sheet comes down with all kinds of creatures on it that he was forbidden to eat according to Jewish law (Acts 10:11-14), that Peter and the Jews understood later and began to preach to the Gentiles also.

Why is this such a big deal to the Christian? Most Christians assume that this passage means that it was now okay for Peter and the Jewish people (as well as the rest of us) to now be able to eat any meat we wanted - including pork!

However, this has nothing at all to do with eating. Even Peter was confused about this at first until later he 'gets it' because the men that Cornelius, a Gentile but God-fearing man, sent to Simon-Peter had just showed up at the house where he was staying, right about the same time that he was having the vision (Acts 10:22).

In Acts 10:23- 48, Peter listens to the men and goes with them back to see Cornelius in Caesarea, bringing along some of his Jewish brethren.

When Peter arrives, Cornelius falls to the floor to worship him. Peter helps him to his feet and says 'I'm just a man, too'. He begins talking with Cornelius, and as he walks in he notices that many people are assembled there to hear him (Cornelius' family and close friends).

Peter goes on to give an account of how he happened to be at Cornelius', in a place where it is unlawful for him to be, according to his custom.

This is important for the reader to understand because without full knowledge and understanding of the culture and customs of Peter, the reader would not know how serious this situation really was.

So, when Peter asks again why he was sent for, Cornelius gives an account of all the things that happened to him, and that he was instructed by an angel of God to send for him.

Peter gets a full revelation from God when hearing this (Acts 10:34) and so begins to tell them all about the Messiah, Jesus, who was sent to the HEBREW people (vs 41), namely; him and the bretheren that were with him at Cornelius' house, not to those who weren't Hebrew.

Peter continues to give an account of Jesus' story, including how the Prophets (and the writers of the old scriptures, describing who it would be) were writing of Jesus.

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit just poured out upon those who were listening and believed. This amazed Peter and his bretheren that came with him.

So, Peter, remembering what Jesus would say about being 'baptized' with the Holy Spirit, ordered the Gentile believers who just received the Holy Spirit, to be baptized 'in the Name of Yeshua, the Messiah', making them a part of the new covenant (Acts 10:48).

The mystery of these teachings are locked away in the Jewish culture, and it is critical for the reader to understand them if they desire to really 'hear' what God is (and was) saying.

In interpreting what the writers are saying in the scriptures, the reader must know about Peter and his people's customs, culture, and times that he lived in. This applies to all the biblical characters and the times they lived.

This does not mean a slight 'overview' of them, but a full understanding of their laws and customs. When God created His Feasts, He created them for a purpose.

Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits were the Spring Feasts, so that those who were paying attention back then would recognize God's plan of redemption. However, the Fall Feasts, those of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, haven't been fulfilled yet.

Christians of this day and age are mostly unaware of these holidays as well as many of the other things of their Hebrew heritage. This is why it is critical to learn more, and look deeper into the original laws and customs of the Jewish people.

As I write this, tomorrow marks the day of a brand new year on the Hebrew calendar, and when the Shofar is blown. As a Christian, if you are unaware as to the significance of this, then it would be prudent for you to learn.

As you read on in the book of Matthew (and later in Acts), maintain an attitude of Jewish perspective only as you picture what was happening among these people. It was in their culture, and among their people, not among the mass population.

Note: As an example for understanding, in Acts 11:26 it mentions that the disciples were first called 'Christians' in Antioch. However, the writer wasn't referring to 'today's Christian', he was referring to a 'Jew who believed in the Messiah', which, more correctly stated would be they were first called 'Messianics'.

This makes a big difference when you figure out who is really arguing throughout the New Testament and why.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I am not a Hebrew and neither is any gentile. We do not have to study anything "Jewish" to know God because God has done away with the old and brought in the new-- which we are a part of by FAITH and the truth is revealed to us by the HOLY SPIRIT. People who study these things tend to be the type who feel they have some pre-eminence or that they have some "special" knowledge that other, "layman" christian have not. Anyone who insists on Calling Jesus Yeshua needs to examine their heart. Are you closer to God by calling him that? Does he hear you if you call him yehosua or whatever? Is the Bible written with any specifics on calling him by his "Hebrew" name? I would think if it were so special and important that the writers would be careful to make sure it was always Yeshua/Yehu'ah/ whatever! When I see a man named Pierre I dont translate his name as Peter. His name is Pierre. If I call Jesus in a French accent...does he not hear me? Stop with all this stuff. It does not take a Jewish scholar to interpret the Bible and if it did that would be very inconsistent. We come as children, we are called in the state we are in. We are not called to be Hebrew scholars. The same God who called us and normal, American, French, Mexican, Hungarian, etc people is fully capable to reveal his secrets to us by the Spirit of God. There IS NO MORE JEW NOR GREEK. THE OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY BEHOLD I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW~ JESUS!

    • shofarcall profile image


      5 years ago

      Hello Kaloomba,

      Good to discover you here. I agree that it is very important to know what the context of the passages in scripture are and to understand what the laws etc were at that time and not to shirk scripture like Matt 10: 5. There is not an idle word in Scripture and we need to pay attention. Timing was everything during Yeshuas time on earth and I am sure that was why He told his disciples not to go to the Gentiles. It was not yet time.

      I feel so excited about our Jewish brothers and sisters who are now starting to recognise Yeshua as their Lord and Saviour. It means the veil is in the process of being lifted. Come Jesus, come. God Bless Kaloomba.

    • kaloomba profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Sorry, Kris... The website is correct, but HubPages sometimes doesn't allow direct links. There are other great websites out there too, like but be sure to keep a balanced perspective as sometimes even the authors of the websites can go a little overboard.

    • profile image

      kris meekins 

      6 years ago

      you have been a light for me. the website isn't working by the way....

    • kaloomba profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      The idea behind this article is to shake people up enough to get them to let go of their ideology and STUDY the Word. A disciple is someone who studies the scriptures and considers ALL of the TRUTH, not just what their theology has taught them. As a Christian, discover your HEBREW heritage and RESTORE the important things that have been taken out. (This website may help you get started:

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is how much Love Jesus has for us all. Even though He tells His disciples not to go into Samaria or any of there cities. He Himself does go into Samaria near the city of Sychar. And He stays there for 2 days with them. And they believed and said indeed this is the "Christ the Saviour of the World". Wow even before Peter told Jesus that He was the Christ. This is not to refute that Salvation is of the Jews. Sorry for the long comment but Scripture is the Word. John Chapter 4

      27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”

      28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

      31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”

      32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”

      33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”

      34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

      The Savior of the World

      39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.

      42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ,[a] the Savior of the world.”

      Then in Acts 8 Phillip went into Samaria

      4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the[a] city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

      Then Anninas was told by the Lord to Go to Saul in Acts 9

      15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

    • kaloomba profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you for your comment, rommergrot. You are correct. Just above the verse in Matt 15:28, in verse 24, Jesus says that He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The idea of this article is to get people to understand the scriptures in their context.

      As we read later in the book of Acts, Chapter 10, we learn that Peter learns that it is okay to give the news to the Gentiles.

      Too many people apply today's understanding to the New Testament when in fact it MUST be understood in context; Jewish culture, Jewish people, Jewish belief system, etc.

      Messianic understanding cannot come until people learn to put the scriptures in their correct context. The title of this article was intended to get people to read it, not argue that Gentiles weren't included in the kingdom because as you know, we just discussed that they were (afterward).

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Jesus ministered to gentiles "Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." This was a gentile woman and, "Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

      I think, as someone has already stated, that the desciples simply were not ready.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Agreed :-)

    • kaloomba profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago


      I couldn't have said it better myself...

      The idea here is to stop Christians from continuting to follow after wrong teachings and all that is completely false within Christianity. So much paganism has been integrated into Christianity from the time of Augustine and Christians need to learn how to turn back again to the TRUTH by correctly interpreting scripture - which includes looking at the scriptures through the eyes of Jewish history and culture. Christian's must never forget that they have a 'Hebrew' Heritage.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think it is important not to read too much, nor too little into this passage. Kaloomba asserts correctly that we should strive to understand the scriptures in the cultural context of the time.

      It is important to remember that, though Jesus' followers believed (or at least hoped) that He was the Messiah of promise, they had a very limited view before Jesus' death and resurrection of what the Messiah would be. The Jews of the time were looking for a Messiah who would bring spiritual revival to Israel; who would lead Israel out of physical bondage; and who would establish Israel as the ruler over the nations. In this limited understanding of Christ's purpose, the disciples were not yet equipped to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.

      Only after Christ's death and resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, did the Apostles have the understanding they needed to be a light unto the Gentiles.

      It is also important to remember that the nation of Israel had, and still has, an important place in God's heart, and that God is a God who remembers and honors His promises, even in the face of our own dishonor. Abraham had a faith that was credited to him as righteousness, and because of this, God chose to honor his descendants above all other nations.

      An important concept to grasp here is that Christ was never "Plan B." Rather, He was there all the time, though not yet revealed (John 8:58) as the Son of Man. Right standing with God has always been tied to faith (See Hebrews 11). Before Christ's resurrection, the outworking of that faith was by Jewish law and custom - all of which were designed to point to the coming Messiah. Though God's moral law (the 10 Commandments) has never changed and is still the standard by which all people are judged, the requirements of both the Jewish ceremonial law and the moral law are fully met by Christ Himself. It is impossible for any us to meet God's moral standard, which is why we need a Savior. The very purpose of the moral law is to serve as a mirror, in which we can see our pitiful condition and recognize our need for Christ.

      This passage should not be taken as a mandate to Gentile Christians to follow Jewish law and custom, an idea that was strongly condemned in the Epistle to the Galatians.

    • kaloomba profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Everyday Mom,

      Excellent and true... The goal was and still is to correct, bring back the lost sheep, and give them a new covenant.. And then gather the others and bring them ALL into ONE fold; the House of Israel.

      After Yeshua's (Jesus) job of gathering up the LOST sheep of His flock (the House of Israel) it was Peter who was first instructed (by the Holy Spirit which he didn't possess until AFTER the resurrection of Jesus) to go also to the Gentiles, offering them the same opportunity as the Jews.

      It is today's Christians who have now strayed from the House of Israel.

      It is important here for the reader to understand that there were TWO factions of JEWS (see Acts 12:1-3).

      It is imperitive, then, for the reader to understand more about the Hebrew and Jewish history before quoting and 'living' scripture out of context, as so many Christians and Christian scholars still do today

      Carefully read Acts 14:2 and 15:7-29. New Gentile converts (Christians) were not 'exempt' from following certain instructions of God's, but rather they needed a whole lot more GRACE in learning what things of God's to follow and observe..

      After all, Jesus and His disciples never, ever gave up certain commands and instructions of YHVH's such as the obervance of His Feasts (Lev. 23), etc.

      The only thing that changed was the COVENANT (the new one replaced the old), which does not mean that everything that God put in place for His purpose is now thrown out.

    • Everyday_mom profile image


      8 years ago

      "And say not to yourselves, We have Abraham for our father; because I say to you that God is able from these stones to make children for Abraham " Matthew 3:9

      Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. Hebrews 2:11

      I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—

      just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.

      I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd john 10:14 -16

      Love your hub.


      Pray for the peace of Jerusalem "May those who loves you prosper"

    • kaloomba profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Note: It's important to note WHO is saying what and to whom whenever you read the scriptures so that you do not take the words out of context.

      Remember, the people who wrote the scriptures were Hebrew and Jewish, and have their own culture back then and even today. It was only later translated to Greek... Even the name Jesus is Greek - His real name is Yahshua.

    • Chris EastMan profile image

      Chris EastMan 

      8 years ago

      wonderful hub !

    • kaloomba profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      That's correct! Good for you to search the scriptures, but Jesus never told them that until AFTER He had risen!

      I wrote this article to encourage Christians to seek ALL the truth that God teaches, and that nearly the entire Body of Christ today is missing - the Fall Feasts mysteries (His Second coming)!

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image


      9 years ago

      M't:28:19: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

      Ac:13:48: And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

      Ga:3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

      Lu:10:11: Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

      Gospel received more by Gentiles than Jews, 2000yrs ago Jews are only getting there now.


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