|Dr. Couch, I understand you are completing a new book entitled "To The Jew First ..." When do you expect it out?|
ANSWER: Probably in about six weeks or so. Some have objected to the fact that we are to witness to the Jews first, after all, did not Christ die for the entire world? Of course! But the Jews are to be the first recipients of the gospel according to Paul. He writes: The gospel is to be given to "everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16). Likewise, for those who do evil there is a judgment, "to the Jew first and also of the Greek" (2:9), and as well, "glory and honor to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (v. 10).
God made the Abrahamic covenant with "your fathers" when He said "And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Acts 3:25), "For you [Jews] first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you ..." (v. 26).
John the apostle adds, "Christ came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him" (John 1:11). Too, "He walked among us [the Jewish people], and we beheld His glory ..." (v. 14).
When Christ appeared before His disciples, following His resurrection, those on the Emmaus road said "We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel, ..." (Luke 24:21). Jesus responded and called them foolish and slow of heart not believing "in all the prophets [of Israel who] had spoken ..." (v. 25). So He began with Moses and "with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the [Jewish] Scriptures" (v. 27).
When He was with the eleven disciples He told them "all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms [that] must be fulfilled" (v. 44). He added that they were to learn of the repentance and forgiveness of sins that "should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning FROM JERUSALEM" (v. 47). Jerusalem was ground zero for the nation of Israel! Jerusalem was to be the starting point of the proclamation of the gospel! This is where the gospel message was to begin. The Jews were to be the first recipients of the gospel, and then it was to go to the far corners of the world as a witness!
The nations were also to be told; but to the Jews first, was the gospel to be sent! This is punctuated in the Luke 24 passage: "He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures" (v. 27); "He was explaining the Scriptures to US" (v. 32); "My words which I spoke to YOU ... must be fulfilled" (v. 44); "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (v. 45); "That repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed ... beginning in Jerusalem" (v. 47); and finally "I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you [the Jewish disciples] ..." (v. 49).
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch