“Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” – Matthew 4:8
The vision of a universal kingdom was integral to the plan of Jesus from the beginning of His ministry. The fact that one of the wilderness temptations involved ‘kingdoms’ is conclusive. Jesus did aspire to world dominion.
He was not surprised that His own people did not receive His message.
But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown. “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”” – Luke 4:24-27
Jesus did not stop with Elijah. He rubbed salt into the wounded feelings of His audience with the story of Elisha. No more dramatic illustration could have been given to prove that the grace of God was not limited to the people of Israel and that Gentiles often displayed greater faith than those who were considered ‘children of the kingdom’.
But for Jesus’ miraculous power, they would have hurled Him to His death on the jagged rocks at the foot of a cliff.