Why did Jesus and his disciples preach only to the Jews?

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus came to save all people and God wants all to be saved. But the gospels also teach us that Jesus preached only to the Jews and told his disciples to do the same.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “ Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: the kingdom of heaven is near”.

Matthew 10:5-7

Does this mean that Christians down through the centuries have been wrong in proclaiming the gospel to Gentiles? Of course not! It is important to understand what God’s plan was for reaching the world; and that plan was through the nation of Israel. Israel as a nation had to accept Jesus as their Messiah and they failed to do this when they had Jesus put to death on the cross. Even after His resurrection the disciples continued to preach that Jesus was the Messiah. It was when the Jews stoned Stephen in Acts 7 that God set aside his people and raised up the apostle Paul. God revealed to this apostle that God’s salvation had come to all people, Jews and Gentle alike, not through the law but only through faith in Jesus Christ.

For it is by grace you have been saved, though faith and this is not from yourselves it is a gift from God – not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9