The promise to Abraham that his descendants would multiply and become a blessing to the nations is fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ. That ancient promise was the means through which God intended to remedy the rebellion of the human race. God chose the nation of Israel to be the people through whom he would regather the nations and restore His kingdom in the world. The repeated failure of Israel to live up to her calling created a longing for the one true Israelite who would fulfill that calling. Jesus is the quintessential Israelite.
The church is established as the New Covenant Israel with the foundation of 12 Jewish apostles and the cornerstone of the Jewish Messiah. The church does not replace Israel but rather is New Covenant Israel, i.e. Israel as God intended her to be. Israel is reconstituted at Pentecost, as the prophecy of Joel is fulfilled with the Spirit coming upon 3000 Jewish men and the apostles and others and with Peter announcing the Messiah to the men of Israel and to the house of Israel (Acts 2:22 and 2:36). New Covenant Israel, the church, is born at Pentecost. The church as the body of Christ, the quintessential Israelite, is no less Israel than its head.. Because of her union with Christ, the quintessential Israelite, the church is Israel as God intended her to be. She is a spiritual building with a Jewish foundation and a Jewish cornerstone, gathering in both Jews and the nations as God intended for Israel.
As the story of the Acts of the Apostles unfolds, this New Covenant Israel accepts immediately her calling to gather in the nations of the world, taking the gospel from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth.
As the people of the Messiah, we have the calling of ancient Israel, to gather the nations in worship of the Creator redeemer God. By His grace we have been engrafted into the life-giving vine, Jesus Christ and called to invite others to share this life. We desire to share this grace with both Jews and the nations of the world. Providentially, at this time in history, God has made the carrying out of our task more accessible by bringing the nations of the world to cities like Philadelphia. Perhaps you have been sensing a deeper longing to fulfill your calling of seeing the blessing of Jesus the Messiah come to the nations of the world. Maybe right there in your community you can share the good news with those from many nations or, if you live in a homogeneous community, God may be calling you to the city to experience how the gospel creates a new community of diverse people.