The Universality of JesusIt is, of course, the belief of all Christians today that Jesus meant his preaching for all mankind, Gentiles and Jews alike. This belief however, is not supported by a critical study of the genuine utterances of Jesus in the gospels. The authentic traditional material gives a very clear indication that the earthly Jesus, not the Jesus of Christian theology, meant his teachings strictly for the Jews.  One of the most clear-cut examples of this is his instructions to his disciples as they go out to preach his message:
By the time these gospels were written many Gentiles were already Christians. It was therefore unlikely that the passage above, which overtly excludes the Gentiles from Jesus' plan, would have been invented by the tradition or the evangelist. It is therefore extremely likely that the above quote represents an authentic quotation of the historical Jesus.
And in the case already cited earlier about Jesus and the Greek Phoenician woman who asked him to heal her daughter, Matthew made Jesus tell her in no uncertain terms where his sympathies lie:
For the same reason as the above passage, this quotation is very likely an authentic utterance of the historical Jesus. Let us now have a look at the whole episode as Mark presented it.
As Nineham pointed out,  Jesus' use of the word dog, a supreme insult to this day in the middle east, leave no uncertainty as regards the distinction between Jew and Gentile in the eye of Jesus. It did not change the order of salvation, where Jews came first, as Jesus understood it. Jesus' actions and his words in this particular case show that this extension of his miraculous powers was to be an exception rather than the norm. 
Another point worth noting is not what is depicted in the gospels but what is not: there is no recorded preaching or teaching of Jesus to the Gentiles. This shows us that there is nothing in the early Christian tradition about it. It is most unlikely that the gospels would have missed out on narrating Jesus' preaching to the Gentiles had it actually occurred or had it actually been circulated in the early tradition.  As was pointed out in chapter eight, all our sources tell us that Jesus confined his travels to purely Jewish areas. We have no evidence the he knew about nor cared for Gentile culture. 
There is, however, a supposed instruction of Jesus to his disciples that seems to have negate all we have just said:
Unfortunately (for Christians) there are many difficulties involved in accepting the above verse as an authentic saying of Jesus.  In the first place, it openly contradicts all the earlier verses we have quoted. In the second place the setting for this instruction was on a mountain in Galilee after the resurrection of Jesus. We have already shown earlier that the resurrection appearances, at least in the form depicted in the gospels, are unhistorical.
Perhaps the most compelling reason for the rejection of the above passage as historical lies in the attitude of Jesus' disciples after his death (and supposed resurrection appearances). We note that after the death of Jesus the disciples remained profoundly Jewish, for they continued to use the temple as their place of worship:
In chapter ten of the Acts of the Apostles we are told that Peter, the supposed leader of the disciples, needed a vision (Acts 10:9-23) before he can be convinced that a Gentile is not unclean (Acts 10:28). And amazingly the other disciples, who were with Jesus on that mountain in Galilee, and heard Jesus' injunction, did not condone Peter's actions:
And in Paul's (authentic) epistle to the Galatians, we are told of an incident concerning Peter that clinches our case on the falsity of the passage in Matthew 28:18-19. It involves Peter not daring to eat with the Gentiles when he was warned by James' followers:
Had Jesus left any instructions to the disciples about preaching to the Gentiles, Peter would not have been so uncertain in his actions. As we can see from Acts 11:1-2 above, the other disciples of Jesus too disapproved of Peter mixing with the Gentiles. It was the self-proclaimed apostles such as Paul, who had never met the human Jesus, who preached the good news to the Gentiles. As Guignebert reasons:
In other words, the early debate between Paul and Peter would not have occurred had Jesus gave clear cut instructions on proselytizing the Gentiles. The fact that the debate occurred, and heatedly, showed that Jesus never mentioned the Gentiles in his preaching. It never occurred to him he had to, the Gentiles did not figure in his understanding of the plan of redemption. He never meant his preaching to go outside of Jews and Judaism.
The authors of the gospels were, of course, Christians and their works were probably done in a Gentile Christian community. The fact that the utterance of Jesus' given in the gospels were markedly Jewish in character showed that the tradition is very likely authentic. Jesus was, as a teacher and preacher, a failed reformer of Judaism. He never intended to abrogate the Law of Moses, as Christians doubtless believe he did. This is obvious from the passage below:
The fact that Jesus' immediate disciples continued to practice Judaism (going to the temple to worship God, refusing to eat Gentile food etc) after Jesus' death (Acts 2:46, 3:1) proves that at least the essence of the above passage is authentic. Their strict observance of the Jewish Law showed that Jesus, in his teachings, never meant to abolish it. 
The considerations above should convince that Jesus was not a universalist. It is probably shocking to most Christians today to find out that the supposed founder of their religion never put them into his considerations.
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