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.

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.