A Light to the GentilesDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
This verse from Isaiah is doubly shocking. First, given how much of Isaiah has focused on the ultimate restoration of Israel, we’re surprised to realize that God’s Servant “will do more than restore the people of Israel to [the Lord]” (49:6). In fact, this translation misses some of the offense of the original, which read, more literally: “It is too light or easy a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob.” Restoring Israel, however important that might be, is not nearly enough for God’s Servant.
The second surprise of this passage elaborates upon the first. The Lord says to his Servant: “I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (49:6). God is not satisfied merely to save Israel. Ultimately, the whole world will experience the saving power of God. His work with Israel is not for Israel’s sake alone, but also for the sake of all nations.
When we read this passage as Christians, we rightly see a pointed prophecy of the ministry of Jesus, the ultimate Servant of God. He came, not just for Israel, but to bring God’s salvation to the world. Moreover, we are reminded by this passage from Isaiah that we have been saved, not only for our benefit, but to benefit those around us. Like Israel, we are to be a channel of God’s grace to the world, beginning with our neighbors across the street or the woman who works in the office next to us.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are you living as a light to your neighbors? How? What might you do today that would reflect the love of God to others?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, as a Gentile, I am grateful beyond words for the scope of your salvation. Thank you for including me among your people.
Lord Jesus, today I honor you as God’s Servant, the light to the nations. In you, we see God. Through you, we receive the salvation of God.
Today I am also reminded that I am to live as a light to the world. May your love, truth, and grace shine through me to others. May I be a reflector of you in my workplace, in the community, among my friends, in my family, and wherever I am in the world. Amen.