day 12: outsiders

Isaiah 42:1-8, 49:1-6; Luke 2:25-32

“‘I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.'” – Isaiah 42:6-7

“he says:’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 49:6-7

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.'” – Luke 2:25-32

these passages of scripture for reading today are just so beautiful to me.  they show such wonderful glimpses into the nature of this servant/savior: his humility, his obedience, his great quiet power.  i am sorry i can not discuss them all at length.  instead, i want to focus in on the explicit common thread found in all three passages: that Jesus would come not only for the people of israel but as “a light for the nations” or more specifically “to the gentiles” (non-jews).  we must not forget that when he walked this earth, Jesus was a jew sent primarily for the jews.  this business about hating on jews for being jesus killers is just nonsense.  yes, he was sentenced to death by some jewish authorities but jesus himself was a jew and if it wasn’t for what God did through 12 of jesus’ closest jewish friends (and a certain 13th super jewish friend that came around later) we wouldn’t even know this jesus.  but thank God He’s not racist.  i am so thankful that He is a big God…that He considered it “too light a thing” to only bring back the jews to Him but that He would reach out to us…gentiles.  without His light shining out to us we would not be able to “see.”  He has a mission for reaching out to the foreigner, the blind, the prisoner, the one stuck in darkness, to the very ends of the earth…to us.  i am so glad He loves like that.

do we thank Him for opening our eyes and including us in eternal blessing, even when He didn’t have to?  in what ways are we reflecting him by reaching out to those who are ignored or forgotten?

thank you Lord that you reach out to outsiders…like us.

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