Jesus The New Abraham & Israel (Jesus & Justice Part 12)

God promised to bless all people everywhere through one man named Abraham. How would God do this?

The Backstory

In Genesis 18, the LORD said, “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just.” [More:]

Like Adam and Eve, Abraham and his family became God’s representatives or “image” on earth [More:]. Like Adam and Eve, they were to order their lives and the world around them God’s good way [More:], doing what is right and just. [More:]

Abraham’s descendants became the nation of Israel. God called them “a chosen people” (Deuteronomy 7:6), God’s “treasured possession”, a “holy nation,” and “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:5,6) tasked with representing God and bringing God’s blessing to all nations.

But, like Adam and Eve, Abraham’s descendants often chose to order their lives and the world around them their own way instead [More:]. Their rebellion brought harm, scarcity, and broken relationships to their nation and the nations around them – not blessing.


Many generations later, Jesus became the new and faithful Abraham forming a new and faithful Israel to bless all people everywhere.

Jesus’ new Israel isn’t founded on twelve tribes but on twelve chosen apostles sent to minister to and bless every corner of the world (Matthew 28:16-20).

Jesus’ new Israel doesn’t hoard God’s provision, protection, and peace among the descendants of Abraham but distributes it to all people. To illustrate this, Jesus feeds two “multitudes.”

The First Multitude

The first is in the Jewish community of Galilee. There, he turns five loaves (representing the five books of Moses) into more than enough food for the whole crowd. His disciples collect twelve baskets of leftovers. These represent the twelve tribes of Israel God has faithfully provided for, protected, and brought peace to (Matthew 14:13-21).

Next, Jesus rebukes Israel’s religious leaders for failing to order their lives and God’s people God’s good way and then immediately heals the daughter of a Canaanite woman – a Gentile! It’s after this that Jesus – no longer in Galilee – heals, forgives, and feeds a second “multitude” of people who are not descendants of Abraham.

The Second Multitude

For this second miraculous feeding, Jesus turns seven loaves of bread (in this case representing wholeness or completion) into MORE than enough food for the crowd of Gentiles. His disciples collect seven baskets of leftovers. These represent the seven Gentile nations living in the land of Canaan when Abraham’s children entered it (Deuteronomy 7:1).

Blessing All People

Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham: he is the descendant who will finally be a blessing to all nations, doing what is just and right. All people everywhere can receive God’s provision, protection, and peace through Jesus.

All people everywhere are the “whoever” of John 3:16: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The New Israel

This is truly Good News! And “through this Good News the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:6).

All followers of Jesus everywhere now form a new Israel, “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Peter 1:9). We are one family, directed by Jesus to do what is right and just and sent out to bless the nations on God’s behalf.

This is the 12th post in this series on biblical justice. To read them all go here.