As children, we are taught that Jesus died for everyone; for all of mankind. We are taught that the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, is available for everyone to accept. Yet, when we read Scripture, some verses appear to contradict this belief.

Take a few moments and read these select verses. Glean from them how you interpret their meaning of “many“, and read the additional verses that provide supportive elements to what is meant by this often misinterpreted phrasing.

“As a shepherd looks for his scattered sheep when he is among the flock, so I will look for My flock. I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”
Ezekiel 34:12

“For the Son of man came to save that which was lost.”
Matthew 18:11

“..even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:28

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”
John 8:31-32

“…for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Matthew 26:28

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”
Titus 2:14

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called (the many) may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”
Hebrews 9:15

I believe that the “many” spoken of in these verses are those whom God knows will accept His love offering of Jesus. You could argue that initially this was meant for just the Jewish people, who were God’s chosen but they became scattered and lost as a result of their turning from God, and you would be correct. But scripture is clear through Jesus’ words and actions, as well as Paul’s and the other apostles’ teachings, that Jesus Christ’s atonement was ultimately meant for all nations of people where those who would believe can have redemption from sin’s consequences of eternal death.

If you have already made this wise and life-altering decision, then know that you are certainly one of the many!

Yes, the good news of the gospel of Jesus is available to all people. The sad news is that the majority of those who are presented with the gospel will not accept Jesus as the Son of God, nor as their Savior, let alone live a life that serves Him and follows his way by being obedient and faithful. In fact, only a portion of those who claim to be christians actually strive to serve the Lord with a humble and grateful heart, seeking His will and choosing to give up their own.

What matters most here is not the topic of “many vs. all”. It is YOU. If you have not accepted Jesus into your life, its not too late, because since you are reading this, He has likely led you here today and has chosen you to be one of the many, to be restored to a righteousness that only Jesus’ sacrifice can provide!

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3:20

Food for thought: The percentage of people who claim to be a Christian (which means one who believes in and follows Christ, conforming to Jesus Christ’s ways) is about 1/3 of the world’s population, but if that were true, our world would be a very, very different place.

Fun facts: Humanity currently adds about 90 million people per year to our current global population of about 7.5 billion people. In the history of our planet, the guesstimates of how many people have ever been born since the beginning varies around the 51 billion births.

Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Chicago Skyline