Does a "to the Jews first" reading of Romans 1:16 endanger the Great Commission?

I got my copy of The Everlasting Nation this week, the May/June issue...I guess I rarely read it carefully. For some reason I did read this one all the way through. In most of the articles the writers were espousing their interpretation of Romans 1:16 that "to the Jews first" is a statement of priority, not a reference to how the gospel was communicated historically. In other words, when starting a new church Christians are required to first go to the Jews of the community and try to evangelize them.

Now if this were just an opinion of interpretation I might be inclined to just let it go. All of us have interpretations of Bible texts that might fall into the "weird" category. However, this was not the case for The Everlasting Nation. On the back cover they state that this is a command of God, that we must obey it to be blessed, and that to disobey it is unbiblical. I have a real problem with that.

Has anyone else run into this teaching?


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Pastor Rob V's picture

If this teaching is so universally important, then why didn't Paul give Timothy and Titus these instructions. I can't think of any passage where Paul commanded them to go to the Jews first. I don't believe this was a requirement that was to live on till Jesus comes. I believe it was for that time period, probably until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70a.d and the diaspora. We have to remember that Jewish believers were expecting Jesus to come back and set up His kingdom. In Peter's first sermon in Acts 2 he told the Jews to save themselves from this corrupt generation. Peter was most likely talking about the destruction of the Israeli state, not just the escape of Hell. When John the Baptist was preaching in Luke 3 about fleeing the coming wrath, I believe he was not speaking about hell, but about the future destruction of Israel. He said the ax was at the root of the trees. This signifies that judgment is coming. The people wanted to know what they were to do, so he told them to repent and to do acts in keeping with repentance. What would these acts save them from? It would save them from losing their nation.
After Jesus' resurrection He told His disciples to preach starting in Jerusalem, then Judea,Samara, and to the uttermost parts of the world. Why start in Jerusalem? It is because if the Jewish people had turned from their sins and received Christ even after He died and rose then God would spare them from losing their nation. This is why I believe Paul and other Jews always preached to Jews first. They were giving the Jews time and an opportunity to get saved and to save their country. Of course by my reasoning, then after Israel rejected Christ and the teaching of the apostles, the end of Israel would come, they would be spread out among the nations until they are regathered in the last days. Then there would be no need to preach to the Jew first then the gentile.

Don't be a great pastor, just be a pastor and let history judge for itself.