Matthew 15:24, Jesus Shuns Gentiles

But [Jesus] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

//A reader of my upcoming book about John’s Gospel questioned why I portrayed Matthew as anti-Gentile. (The book contains a fictional character named “Matthew” who is the author of the Gospel carrying his name.)

I guess I do portray Matthew as much more loyal to Jews than Gentiles, but not without reason. Sometimes, unless you are looking for them as you read the Bible, you don’t notice little nuances. Like this one: In Matthew, Jesus restricts his mission during his lifetime entirely to the Jews. He follows divine instructions such as that recorded in today’s verse. Moreover, when he sends the disciples on their own mission, he gives explicit instructions for that journey as well:

These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  –Matthew 10:5-6

This is hardly the picture we have in Jesus in the other Gospels! So, while I may take creative liberty here and there by exaggerating the differences between Gospel writers in my book, their personalities there are not without foundation. :)