JESUS VS PAUL #3: ENTER SAMARIA OR NOT?

The following is from JESUS VS PAUL #3: ENTER SAMARIA OR NOT?

(3) Jesus–“Go not into the way of the Gentiles and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not” (Matt. 10:5) versus Paul–“they (Paul and Barnabas–Ed.) passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles” (Acts 15:3). Jesus said Samaria was not to be entered which Paul chose to ignore

The site linked to above is one which has a number of apparent discrepancies between what Jesus said and what Paul said. Joel, a friend of the blog, pointed them out to me and asked if I’d be willing to take a shot at clearing up some of the points made on that site. And yes, they are actually numbered. So this one is dealing with their 3rd objection to whether Paul and Jesus disagreed.

I will use the NIV translation, as it is easier to read than the KJV.

Matthew 10:5-6

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.

Acts 15:3

3The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad.

Notice that in Matthew 10:5-6, Jesus was sending his disciples out for a specific mission – it had a set time and location. Once it was complete, they would return to Jesus. But in Acts 15, they were traveling through Samaria. If you look at a map, you will see that to go from Jerusalem to Galilee, one had to travel through Samaria or go a long way out of the way to avoid it. It was quite common to travel through Samaria. But even so, we need to take a look at what Christ said to His believers just after he died and was resurrected, in Matthew 28:18-20

18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Note, Jesus told the disciples to go to ALL nations. While Jesus had been sent to the lost sheep of Israel, his followers were sent to everyone. It was not just Jews to whom salvation had come, but to everyone who believed. we see this in John 3:16-18,

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

So no, Paul did not disobey or countermand Christ. Jesus’ original mission for the disciples was a training mission. They were to go to specific people for a specific purpose and time. But after Jesus had fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, Jesus sent the disciples out to the entire world, because God loves us so. And in fulfilling their mission, the disciples were obedient to what God had said.

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One Response

  1. […] is similar to the objections dealt with in JESUS VS PAUL #1: SALVATION FOR JEWS ONLY?,  JESUS VS PAUL #3: ENTER SAMARIA OR NOT?, and JESUS VS PAUL #12: all justified or not?. Having said that, I will still attempt to address […]

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