“You who have followed me will also yourselves sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”—MATT. 19:28.
JEHOVAH loved Abraham, so He showed loyal love to Abraham’s descendants. For over 15 centuries, he viewed the nation of Israel, which descended from Abraham, as his chosen people, his “special property.” (Read Deuteronomy 7:6.)
Did that mean that Jehovah totally disregarded people of other nations? No. During that time, non-Israelites who desired to worship Jehovah were allowed to attach themselves to his special nation. These converts, or proselytes, were viewed as part of the nation. They were to be treated as brothers. (Lev. 19:33, 34) And they were required to obey all of Jehovah’s laws.—Lev. 24:22.
However, Jesus made this startling declaration to the Jews of his day: “The kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits.” (Matt. 21:43) Who would make up this new nation, and how are we today affected by this change?