Bible Insights

A Light to the World

Jesus Comes for Everyone: All Nations, All People

The phrases God’s people, the chosen ones, the chosen, and other similar references appear in multiple places throughout the Old Testament. This designation certainly makes the Jewish people feel special. After all, God chose them to be his people.

This must mean he likes them better than everyone else. Or to extend this thought a bit further, it must mean he doesn’t like any of the other nations as much.

It’s easy for God’s people to assume that he loves them and hates everyone else. Therefore, when God’s prophets tell of rescue, salvation, and favor, the Hebrew people (the Jews) surely assume he directs his words to them, his chosen ones. They are in, and everyone else is out.

A quick reading of the Old Testament supports this exclusive perspective. But if we slow down and read carefully, we see that God has a different point of view.

Yes, he wants a relationship with his chosen people, the Jews. But he also wants a relationship with everyone else, all nations and all people, regardless of their ethnicity or country of origin. He wants to be a light to the world. God is inclusive. Never forget this.

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We first get a glimpse of this in Genesis. God says he will bless Abraham and through him God will, in turn, bless all nations. What will this blessing through Abraham look like?

We could interpret this as material blessing—and there is some argument for that—but a more enlightened understanding is that God wants to spiritually bless everyone through Abraham. Jesus, a direct descendant of Abraham, fulfills this by dying to make all people right with Father God.

We find this salvation for all nations repeated throughout the Old Testament. The Psalms mention it, along with several of the prophets: Jeremiah, Daniel, Joel, Obadiah, and Haggai.

But Isaiah leads them all in reminding God’s chosen people that he wants to save everyone, not just the Jews. This means Gentiles too. The Jews—through Jesus—will be a light to the Gentiles, a light to the world. I’m so glad to hear this because I’m a Gentile. I suspect you are too.

Jesus comes for everyone: all nations, all people—the Gentiles. He is s light to the world. And to make sure we don’t miss this, John’s epic revelation about the end times confirms that all nations will come to God and worship him.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Isaiah 49-51 and today’s post is on Isaiah 49:6.]

Read more about the book of Isaiah in For Unto Us: 40 Prophetic Insights About Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles from the Prophet Isaiah available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

One reply on “A Light to the World”

“The belief that God wants to spiritually bless everyone through Abraham.” sounds enlightening. But when Christians add… “Jesus, a direct descendant of Abraham, fulfills this [blessing] by dying to make all people right with Father God” sounds more like a curse. Or at best that Jesus has been used as a “sacrificial” model for good Christians to emulate.

The world loves to praise and honour those men [and women] who have died in battle or who have rushed into burning buildings to save little kids and their dogs. I think Christians need to slow down and learn a few things from Jewish tradition and then take a look at John’s Gospel [and the LIGHT hidden in John’s testimony in John 3:29 and John 4:10 before leaping into the flames of John’s Revelation.

John’s Revelation concludes with a new heaven and a new earth …a HOLY City prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. In Jewish tradition, when a Bride and her chosen Bridegroom get married and the Rabboni stands up with them, a new family is born–even before the Bride and Bridegroom beget or adopt any children (Symbols of Judaism,Marc-Alain Ouaknin).

With the concept of marriage that comes out of the Hebrew tradition, Christians can more easily see how Jesus’ death and resurrection can fit within the paradigm of the death of a single kernel of wheat. The Bride and Bridegroom like single kernels of wheat die to their old single life and commit themselves to the earth…living and growing in a Garden of faith, contributing to the Harvest Table with the blessing handed down to them with the Teaching of the Rabboni and the Hospitality of his beloved housewife [Martha] and their brothers and sisters in the faith.

But…Christians will ask. What about the CROSS? How does Jesus dying on the Cross fit into this paradigm? Think about the Light of the World.

Moses was and still is the Rabboni for Jews. Moses encountered the Burning Bush and later God instructed him to make a Golden Lampstand for the Tabernacle. God instructed Moses to make the Lampstand to resemble the beautiful ever Burning Bush he encountered. This Lampstand was to be forged (with hot coal in a refining fire) to resemble an Amygdala, an Almond Branch. With Jesus’ death the curtain in the Temple is torn in two …and the Lampstand reveals what has been hidden behind the curtain for the Priest’s eyes only. The Lampstand comes fully alive and runs into the Garden where the Woman Jesus called Mary of Magdala walks and talks with the Rabboni and he tells her to go and tell his brothers/sisters that he must ascend, stand up with his Father and hers [to hear their vows] (John 20:17).

What do you think? Please leave a comment!

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