The First And Last Missionaries

Our text is a prophecy of the conversion of the Jews. They practically pierced the Saviour when they clamoured for his crucifixion, although Pilate tried to make a way for his escape, and the whole Jewish race has continued to endorse their dreadful deed. Most of the Jews who are now living still reject Christ with the utmost scorn and contempt.

The very mention of his name often produces a manifestation of the greatest fury. They call him “the Nazarene.” I would not like to mention the various opprobrious epithets by which our Lord is called by the Jews.

I marvel not that they speak of him as they do; for, as they reckon him to be an impostor, it is but natural that they should heap scorn upon him. But, in doing so, they show that they accept the act and deed of their forefathers, and so his blood is upon them and upon their children, according to the terrible imprecation uttered to Pilate.

But the day is coming when all this will be changed. Israel, still beloved of the Lord, the firstborn of all the nations, shall yet recognize Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David, as being the true Messiah; and then there will come over Israel such a sorrow for having rejected the Messiah as no nation ever knew before.

They will look back on all the hundreds or thousands of years during which they have been a people scattered and peeled, exiled from their own land, which was the glory of all lands; and they will then realize that what Isaiah and the other prophets wrote was plain and clear, and that they ought to have seen it before.

Judicial blindness has happened unto them even until the present day, but they will see then, and there will never be any other Christians in the world such as they will make, so devout, and earnest, and so anxious to do the will of God in all things. Then will the Gentiles also be gathered in when Israel shall at last receive her King.

The first Christian missionaries were of the seed of Abraham, and so shall the last and most successful ones be. God will graft in again the natural branches of the good olive tree, together with us who were, by nature, only wild olive trees, but who have, by grace, been grafted into the good olive tree. O glorious day when that comes to pass; may God send it soon, and may some of us, if not all, live to see it!

Yet remember that, though it will be a day of great joy to the repentant Jews, it will also be to them a day of deep sorrow as they recall their long rejection of their dear Lord and Saviour.

C. H. Spurgeon, “Mourning at the Cross,”

About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.
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