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by One for Israel Staff

“When they came to Jesus, they earnestly implored Him, saying, ‘He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue'” (Luke 7:4-5). “Now there was a man at Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually” (Acts 10:1-2).

The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts form a unified two-volume work. The numerous links between the two books and the many parallel narratives strongly suggest that Yeshua’s miraculous mission in the Gospel of Luke serves as a prefiguration of the apostles’ miraculous mission in Acts.

As part of Luke’s overall stratgy, therefore, the first Gentile blessed by Yeshua’s ministry (Luke 7) foreshadows the first Gentile blessed by the apostles’ ministry in Acts (Acts 10). And contrary to these men’s high rank in the Roman army, both men truly love the Jewish people (see also Acts 10:22).

In my humble opinion, Luke is making a statement about the “normal” attitude all Gentiles who have been saved by Israel’s God should have for the Jewish people.

These parallel narratives, therefore, are not highlighting an exception, but a rule.

Yes, salvation is dependent upon faith alone in Yeshua. There are no doubt Gentile followers of Yeshua around the world who love God but for one reason or another do not have a love for the Jewish people.

But from Luke’s perspective, a lack of love for and/or indifference toward Israel is not consistent with God’s plan nor is it in accordance with Scripture. Would that all lovers of Israel’s Messiah embrace these centurions’ biblical paradigm of loving Israel particularly at a time when most of the world is turning its back on Israel.

“But now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things” (Rom 15:25-27).


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