Re: Sheep...Voice

From: George Athas (
Date: Wed Apr 22 1998 - 19:58:31 EDT

Jack Kilmon wrote:

> I don't agree. When Jesus was 12 years old, there was an uprising
> in the Galilee which, when quelled, resulted in a few thousand young
> Galilean males being deported as slaves to Sardinia and Spain.
> Certainly
> this must have been a constant pain to everyone in the Galilee,
> including
> Jesus, for whom there would have been friends and relatives. This gives
> us an attested and historical event in the life of Jesus that would have
> left an impact and to which he is most likely referring to when he
> speaks of the "lost sheep of Israel."

Hello Jack! I beg to differ. When Jesus refers to the lost sheep of the House
of Israel in Mat 10:6, it is in reference to the disciples staying away from
gentile and Samaritan areas when Jesus sends them out. Instead, he commanded
them, they were to go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. This surely
must be a reference to Jews within Palestine itself, and not the Jews of the
Diaspora. Otherwise, we must posit that the disciples left Palestine and
sought out Jewish communities in other lands. Yet, this would contradict
Jesus' command to stay away from gentile areas. We would also have to consider
Jesus' doing the same thing during his ministry, since in Mat 15:24, he says
that he was sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. It is interesting
that Mat 15:21 says that Jesus withdrew (ECELQWN) to the region of Tyre and
Sidon, suggesting that this was a short hiatus in his ministry, and thus the
incident with the Syro-Phoenician woman was not typical.

The point is that Jesus went to the lost sheep of the House of Israel *in
Palestine*. After the resurrection, the disciples were to go into all the
world and seek, not just Diaspora Jews to make disciples of them, but "all
nations" (Mat 28:19).

Now we must look carefully at what Jesus says in John 10:16, the verse in
question. If by "other sheep" he meant the scattered Jews of the Diaspora,
then he would not have then added "who are not of this fold". Regardless of
where the Jews were, they were still all part of the House of Israel, and so
part of the one fold. Reference to another fold must mean something else:
bringing a different flock and uniting it with the fold of Israel to form one
new flock, one new people of God.

Best regards!
George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
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