Did the Lord Christ come for the Jews only, the lost sheep of the house of Israel? Can His religion be thus confined to the Jews, not extended to the whole world? And was Judaism also confined to Jews?
Religion leads people to God and teaches them about God, about His commandments, the way of worshipping Him and their relationship with Him.
Therefore, any religion should be to the whole world because God is the God of all people and His way is for all people. This is applicable to both Christianity and Judaism.
In Judaism God was not for the Jews alone, but for the whole world. However, the Gentiles did not believe in Him because they were involved in the worship of idols and other gods.
Whoever believed in God, from among the Gentiles, God accepted and did not reject.
A strong evidence of this is the story of Nineveh, a city of Gentiles not Jews to which God sent Jonah the Prophet.
When Nineveh repented and believed through the call of Jonah, God accepted their repentance and faith and said to Jonah, “And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city?” (Jonah 4:11).
Another example is Rahab the Gentile from Jericho and also Ruth the Gentile from Moab. Both of them were accepted by God and were mentioned among the grandmothers of Christ (Matt 1).
The queen of Sheba accepted faith and was married to Solomon the Wise and according to the Ethiopian tradition she begot Menilek from Solomon. There is also the Ethiopian woman whom Moses the Prophet married (Num 12:1). The sailors of the ship which Jonah the prophet rode also accepted faith (Jon 1:16).
There are many other examples in the Old Testament for the conversion of the Gentiles.
As for the New Testament, it is evident that Christianity is for the whole world.
The message of Christ is salvation, for the whole world as the Holy Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
When John the Baptist saw the Lord Christ, he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29). The same was repeated by St. John the Evangelist in (1 John 2:2).
To understand the message of the Lord Christ, it is enough to refer to what He said to His holy disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) and, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28:19) and also, “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).
The Lord even chose Paul the Apostle to carry His name to the Gentiles, “I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.” (Acts 22:21). The Lord said to him also, “as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.” (Acts 23:11).
About preaching the gospel, the Lord said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations.” (Matt 24:14).
The Lord praised also the faith of the Gentile centurion, saying,
“I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.” (Matt 8:10) and praised the faith of the Canaanite woman, saying to her, “great is your faith.” (Matt 15:28).
The Lord gave as an example of good work the good Samaritan who was better than the priest and the Levite (Luke 10:30-37) and emphasised the fact that the Gentiles are accepted, when He said, “Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah … but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath … to a woman who was a widow.” (Luke 4:25, 26) and likewise with regard to the cleaning of Naaman the Syrian by Elisha the Prophet (Luke 4:27).
The Lord permitted the conversion of Cornelius the Gentile.
The Holy Spirit was poured on Cornelius and those with him so they spoke with tongues (Acts 10:46) and the Lord permitted Philip to baptise the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:27-38).
The father apostles as well in the Council of Jerusalem talked about accepting the Gentiles into faith and explained the way they should be treated (Acts 15). Of course they did not take any decision against God’s will.
The whole Book of the Acts of the Apostles tell about the extended preaching to the Gentiles.
The Acts tell us how the apostles spread faith in Asia Minor, in Cyprus, Greece & Italy and reached Spain and other non Jewish countries. Thus, Christianity spread throughout the whole world till it reached us as well as others.
Preaching to the Jews was just a preliminary work, a mere starting point since they have the Law, the symbols and the sayings of the prophets.
But Christianity never said that faith stopped at this starting point not extending farther.
The Lord Christ, preached first amidst the lost sheep of Israel, who had the fathers & the prophets and the Law, but they refused Him. So, it is written, “but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12). The phrase, “as many as received Him” does no refer only to Jews. It was only in the first training missionary that the Lord Christ sent His disciples to the Jews alone, not to the Gentiles or Samaritans, because they were not yet able to bear this at the start of their service.
The Gentiles rejected and despised them and the Samaritans did not deal with them.
The Samaritans once rejected Christ Himself and did not receive Him (Luke 9:53).
Such rejection and enmity on the part of the Samaritans and Gentiles was not fit for the apostles being still beginners in service so as not to find the work hard and fail in performing it.
However, the Lord Christ prepared the way before them to serve Samaria.
He preached to the Samaritan woman and the Samaritan people and they accepted Him. Thus, He said to His disciples, “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored.” (John 4:38).
Then He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem till they have received power from the highest and said to them, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).
Notice here the gradual programs that carried their preaching to the end of the earth. However, it is evident that the acceptance of the Gentiles started since the birth of Christ as manifested in the wise men from the East who believed in him and presented their presents to Him and the Lord accepted them.