The Gift of Light

Key Verse: “He said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.”
—Isaiah 49:6

Selected Scripture:
Isaiah 49:1-6

IN TODAY’S LESSON the Prophet Isaiah introduces the character and office of Christ, the Messiah. The full extent of Christ’s commission is not only to restore the Israelites and reconcile them to their Lord, from whom they had so often revolted, but to also be a light to lighten the Gentiles. His commission is worldwide in scope and includes deliverance from the penalty of sin, giving universal joy and peace.

At the angel’s annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary, Luke, in his gospel, alluded to Isaiah’s prophecy. He said, “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”—Luke 1:31-33

Isaiah’s prophecy, pointing to Christ, the Servant of God, would have moments of discouragement as our Lord met with almost universal misunderstanding, even from his disciples. In his humiliation he would be despised and rejected, even by his own nation, the Jews. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:11) Under these circumstances, Jesus received strength praying, “If thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:42,43) Jesus also was given assurance by the Father, in answer to his prayer, that he would not fail in his mission. The 102nd Psalm is believed to be a part of this prayer, and the middle of verse twenty-four to the end of the psalm is the Father’s answer. It is quoted by Paul in Hebrews 1:10-12. In this strength he would find his chief satisfaction in doing the will of God. (John 4:34) After his resurrection, however, in his exaltation, he would eventually be worshipped as Lord, even by heathen kings.

Prophesying in Isaiah, the Lord said of Jesus: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isa. 49:6, New International Version) Jeremiah likewise prophesies of Jesus’ birth and his bringing salvation not only to Israel, but also to all the families of the earth when the word of the Lord came to him saying, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”—Jer. 1:5

Another prophecy says, “Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isa. 60:2,3) These speak of great blessings of light in store for all the world when the Sun of Righteousness arises with healing in his wings!—Mal. 4:2

Dawn Bible Students Association
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