I’m sure I’m not the only one who has wondered how the history of the Church (and the World) would have played out had the Jews accepted Jesus as the Christ / Messiah. Some say the question is pointless because it was pre-ordained what would happen - the Jews reject Jesus so the Gospel can be embraced by the Gentile world. But how does that fit in with the whole concept of free-will? A pre-determined outcome seems like a Calvinist type of theology…
How is the truth of the existence of free will countered by the fact that Christ chose to come and chastise the Pharisees at a time that he knew they valued their position of power more than the truth, and therefore would put Him to death?
Foreknowledge != predestination.
Jews did accept Jesus. Others didn’t.
There were pharisees who accepted Jesus as well.
Many Jews did accept Christ. All of the earliest Christians were Jews.
What if Mary had said “No” to the angel?
What if Judas had not betrayed Jesus?
What if questions seem interesting but the fact is they didn’t happen so it is unwise to think too much about them.
Think of it this way, a weather forecaster says we are gonna have a tornado, then the tornado comes and kills a couple of people, causes destruction and generally does what tornadoes do.
Is it healthy to sit there and say what if the tornado…?
Was it predetermined by the forecaster? Or did he just say what he knew would happen?
Well actually, many Jews did accept Jesus. The Church was originally Jewish at first. Even some Jews in the Sanhedrin like Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus accepted Jesus and also possibly Gamaliel the Elder, who was a very respected Jewish authority in the Sanhedrin and grandson of Hillel the Elder. Even if he didn’t full on convert he seems to have had some sympathies. Also, according to Acts 6:7, even some Jewish temple priest accept Christ. Not all Jews accepted him though. From the Council of Jerusalem to the destruction of the second temple is when Judaism and Christianity started to break. Though, some scholars place it at a later date in between the years 90-132 A.D, as late as the Bar Kokhba revolt.
Even had there been a mass conversion, there would have been conflict with the Temple and the Sadducees, who had a nice sinecure going in the Temple and were not going to give it up.
It’s not hard to imagine such a conflict becoming physical, and the Roman army moving in.
The result might have been the Jewish Revolt, and the first anti-Christian persecution, both moved up a generation.
Matt 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans,* 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons…**
Matt 15: 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”[e] 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly."
Jesus is giving the Jews, the people of the covenant, 1st right of refusal to accept the new and everlasting covenant, and He is putting full attention to that goal.
AND, • the result of that effort, the Church in the beginning was 100% Jewish.
• yet Jesus did interact a few times with Gentiles, and was particularly impressed with the Roman centurion and what he said to Jesus. Such that Jesus said He hadn’t seen faith like that in all Israel Matthew 8:5-13 . And we make the same powerful profession of faith before we receive Jesus inthe Eucharist.
• The HS inspired Peter to open the covenant up to
Gentiles by baptizing Cornelius AND his whole family
• And Paul being frustrated with his fellow Jews because of their resistance to him, mentally and physically, THEN was inspired to go to the Gentiles.
Thus Jesus and His apostles gave the Jews first right of refusal to accept Jesus, the Gospel, and the Church, by focusing on them first… before expanding the gift to everyone else*