Last Sunday, we saw Jesus become very prophetically prominent in the book of Isaiah. As chapter 49 began, we read Him speak of His birth to a woman, the sword of His mouth, His servant heart that enabled Him to go to the cross against His own will. We also read of His discouragement, feeling like He'd toiled for nothing, but found encouragement in the joy of the future, knowing His reward was with the Father.
We continue now with verse five...
Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and submitted Himself to arrest, torture, and crucifixion because He was the Servant of God. And the purpose of all that was to bring Jacob back to God - in other words, to restore the Jews to right relationship with their Creator.
When Jesus came to accomplish this, He observed that the Jews were like sheep without a shepherd. He sent out the twelve apostles, saying,
Matt. 10:5-6 ...“Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Jesus' primary mission was to the people of Israel.
But just as God had made covenant promises to the Jews, He'd also promised that through the Jews' messiah, all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 22:18).
Gal. 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”
Jesus, the Servant of God would bless all of the nations by being a light of the nations. The salvation that He offered would reach to the ends of the earth:
Matt. 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
But it would start with the Jews. Paul wrote,
Rom. 1:16 ...I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
And you might remember the Gentile woman who was crying out for Jesus' help, saying...
Matt. 15:22-28 "...my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.” But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.
And so Jesus did minister to Gentiles, and salvation was offered to the world, but to the Jews first:
Luke 24:46-47 ...the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
It began in Jerusalem, and then spread. Jesus promised,
Acts 1:8 ...you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
One interesting quote of verse six is made by Paul and Barnabas in the book of Acts. Speaking to the Jews,
Acts 13:46-47 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.’”
This is interesting to me, because the Father applied this first to Jesus, saying
Is. 49:6 "...I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
How then could anyone else apply it to themselves? Remember, Jesus said,
John 9:5 “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
That mantle was then passed to us. Jesus said,
Matt. 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Jesus is called "the despised One." And certainly He is despised, abhorred by the nation of Israel. But even during His earthly ministry, the Jews...
- belittled His birth (John 8:41),
- said He was insane and demon-possessed (John 10:20),
- called Him a glutton & drunkard (Luke 7:34),
- constantly challenged His teaching and authority (Matt. 21; Mark 11; etc.),
- they actively looked for ways to kill Him (Matt. 26:4),
- they tried to obtain false testimony against Him (Matt. 26:59),
- they chose a murderous insurrectionist over Him (Mark 15:7),
- and they mocked Him as He died (Matt. 27:41-43)
In addition to being called "the despised One," Jesus is also called "the Servant of Rulers." That seems opposite of "King of Kings," doesn't it? Well, He will be the King of kings soon enough. But at His first coming, He had to submit Himself to the rulers of this world.
He paid His taxes though He was not spiritually required to (Matt. 17:27). He allowed Himself to be arrested and tortured by the Roman soldiers, though He could have called down legions of angels upon them (Matt. 26:53).
He was a subject of the Roman Empire under the Caesars (Matt. 22:21), and under Herod the tetrarch of Galilee (Luke 23:6-7), and Pontious Pilate, the governor of Judea (Matt. 27:2).
This really shows that the Jews didn't understand the Messiah they were supposed to be looking for, since all of them were waiting for the Messiah to come and restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).
While Jesus was subject to rulers at His first coming, the opposite will be true at His second coming. In Psalm two, the Father said to Jesus,
Psa. 2:8-12 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
Jesus will rule all nations on the earth. He will be recognized as...
1Tim. 6:15 ...the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords
King Solomon wrote of Him,
Psa. 72:11 And let all kings bow down before him, all nations serve him.
And Paul wrote,
Phil. 2:10-11 ...at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
And so the Servant of rulers will become the one to Whom princes bow down.
The Father answered Jesus as He died upon the cross...
Luke 23:46 ...crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.
It was the day of salvation, and Jesus was given as a covenant.
The covenant that Jesus became was not the old covenant. The night before Jesus died,
Matt. 26:26-18 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."