God Promising His Messiah to the Gentiles
“I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles…It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
As we have seen, God, the Father, promised to give Jesus, the Messiah, to His people as the new covenant of grace. “I, the LORD…will keep You and give Youas a covenant to the people.” Thus, God’s resources of grace are only available through relationship with Christ. Furthermore, the Father promised that His covenant of grace through his Son would extend to all the Gentile nations: “that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
It is clear that the Messiah’s mission would initially be to the house of Israel, to the Jewish people. “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah: In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness'” (Jeremiah 33:14-15). Jesus’ initial instructions to His disciples were in line with this truth. “These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel'” (Matthew 10:5-6).
Yet, God’s promises were much larger than solely reaching His chosen people, Israel. “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel.” God wanted His light to shine out into the nations. “I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles.” The Father wanted His saving grace to extend throughout the world: “that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
At the appropriate time, Jesus also instructed His followers in the worldwide dimensions of His mission. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem…But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; and Acts 1:8).
O Lord God, how extensive are Your promises. I thank You that they reached to me. Yet, I need my thinking to be enlarged by Your promises. Transform my vision and my prayers to include the entire world, in Jesus’ name, Amen.