We are told to “let this mind be in you”–the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). We are to have His thoughts, to think the way He does, to meditate on subjects that fill His mind. After all, He is the King, and if He is truly our Master, then we will strive to think His thoughts and to have His mind.
So, then, how can we know His thoughts? What is He thinking right now? He is the “same yesterday, today, and forever,” so His thoughts 2,000 years ago are still in His mind today. What are they?
The answer lies in the words He spoke. Whatever thoughts were in His heart and mind, that is what came out of His mouth. And one of those things was His concern for “the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”
A Canaanite woman, who was not of Israelite stock, came to Him and wanted Him to heal her daughter. But He said nothing. She cried for mercy. And kept on so much so that His disciples said to Him, “Send her away for she keeps crying out after us.” Instead of sending her away, Christ says something very curious. “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” He was saying, First, I’ve got my people who need Me, and they don’t know who they are. They are like sheep without a shepherd, and I need to help them.
Then “the woman came and knelt before Him. Lord, help me!”
And then He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” This bread is for the children, the children of Israel, He was saying. These spiritual gifts are for them primarily.
Then she said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” This touched Him, and so He praised her faith and healed her daughter (Mt. 15:22-28, NIV).
The point: Christ made it very clear who He was thinking about. It was the lost sheep first. That was His primary mission. He was compassionate and honored the faith of the Gentile woman and blessed her. But His main mission was to gather “the outcasts of Israel.”
To solve this mystery of who they are, we must keep an open mind. Hopefully we now have a reason to study a bit of Biblical history in order to unravel the strands. These “lost sheep of the House of Israel” are extremely important to Christ, and now to us. “Finding” these “lost sheep” will uncover one of the secrets of the ages. More later. Kenneth Wayne Hancock