Through the prophet Isaiah we are told:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
(Isaiah 49:6 ESV)
What God was saying to the nation of Israel is this: the mission of the Messiah is so great, so global, so all encompassing that it could never be just for the physical descendants of Israel. That would be too light a thing for a mission so great.
When we think about it, the Fall of mankind was global, it affects us all. God’s plan through his Son, Jesus the Messiah was always to redeem all of mankind from this global Fall. And so, in the book of Romans, Paul when he speaks of the Church ‘with one voice’ glorifying God (Romans 15:7) he naturally goes on to consider the nations (or Gentiles). The word used in Isaiah for nations is the same word that the Jews began to use in a derogatory sense for all who were not Jews. The nations were in effect the ‘non Jews’. But praise God that he explicitly sent Jesus as a light to the nations, not just the Jews.
One of the aspects of the Fall was the joining together of people and nations to raise themselves up, but in Romans 15 we have a wonderful picture of true global unity. The Church, God’s chosen people come from every nation so that the ‘one voice’ of Romans 15:7 explicitly refers to Jew and Gentile alike. We all glorify God together. This is the antitheses of Babel which was mankind joining together to glorify man – the spirit of this world.
What could be greater than that men and women from every tribe and nation should join together, not to glorify self, but to glorify their God and their Redeemer, Jesus – the Messiah and the light to the nations?
If this Gospel is so great, it is too light a thing to keep to ourselves, it must break out of our lives and into the world in which we live. Do we realise how great this Gospel message and mission is? How can we not speak it out if we truly understand and believe it?
Christ became a servant in order to confirm the promise to the patriarchs and that the nations might glorify God for his mercy. That’s us – rejoice in the global redeeming mission of the Messiah, Jesus, and live in the light of the knowledge that we have the truth of the greatest news this world will ever know. It’s too light a thing to keep to ourselves, so let it out!