Homogeneous Unit Principle: Jesus
** This post was supposed to go up yesterday and I scheduled it for the wrong day. Sorry about the delay.**
“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” – Matthew 10:5 – 6
Why did Jesus asked his disciples not to go to the Gentiles? At this point of His ministry was He stressing Homogeneous Unit Principle it or was it simply that the time for the Gentiles to hear the gospel had not come yet? This specific instruction was made within a historical context rather than a cultural context, because Jesus himself was the first one to break the homogeneous line as we see Him at the very beginning of his ministry sharing the gospel with the Samaritan woman (cf John 4).
Historically Jews and Samaritans hated one another, and both Jesus and the woman knew it from the beginning of their dialogue. Jesus’ action consists in destroying the wall of separation, in raising the centuries-old [self imposed] ban, in making communication possible between people separated by their ethnic, cultural and religious traditions. Another great example of Jesus breaking this barrier was through His family line (cf Matthew 1:1 – 17).
Much to the astonishment of his disciples, Jesus deliberately broke all walls of separation. Interesting enough, Jesus went to Samaria after his meeting with Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council. He belonged to the people to whom Jesus came; however, Jesus did not revealed Himself to Nicodemus as the Messiah. Actually, the first time in His ministry He declared to be the Messiah and He did it to a person completely different from His homogeneous unit, to a person outside the chosen people and outside of her own society.
Another event that calls our attention is when Jesus openly declares what his ministry ought to be in Luke 4:14-30. Luke says that Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue as was his custom. Jesus was not doing something unusual, people from that city knew him very well. However, when he declared to them that he is the Messiah, what happened? His homogeneous group, the people of his hometown (more than any people in Israel, this was his people) sought to kill him. This event shows that homogeneous unit is not enough for the acceptance of Christ.
Jesus began his ministry among the Jews in order to fulfill the covenant God made with Israel. He initiated his movement in Galilee in order to fulfill the promise made in Isaiah 9:1-2.
Did Jesus worked along homogeneous unit? Studying his ministry (action) and teaching (words), there are strong evidences where homogeneous unit principle cannot stand.
We find in Matthew 8:21,22 and 10:35-39, that love for Jesus must be far superior to love for existing social ties. Love for family or people of origin is not equal than love for Jesus.