There are certain occasions in our life when it seems that there is no solution to our problems. We should remember that the Lord always has a plan and a way to solve every difficulty.
In the minds of the leaders of Israel, salvation through the Messiah was for the Jew, not for the Gentile. In their view, the Gentile nations were far from God and could never be brought near. To consider that the Gentiles would carry the message of the Messiah’s salvation to the entire world was in their minds—an impossibility.
Very often, what we consider impossible is really very easy for God. Those people whom we might think have no possibility of salvation are the very ones whom God pours out His Spirit upon and saves.
This should be a great lesson for us. When we think that we have figured out what God is going to do, often the Lord has a way that we would never have considered. He has resources that we have no knowledge of. His ways are not our ways. His power to accomplish all of the promises which He has made are limitless.
Isaiah 55:8-9“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Before the Lord offered Israel salvation and the opportunity to be a light to the Gentile nations of the world, He knew that the Jews would reject His Son when He came to earth. It was His plan all along to offer salvation to every person born on the earth. In order to provoke Israel to jealousy, the Lord saved the Gentile nations of the world who turned to Him for salvation. Ultimately, it will be this massive move of God through all the Gentile nations which will turn the eyes and the hearts of Israel back to the Lord, to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior in the last days.
The fulfillment of Isaiah 49:6 is found in Paul’s message to the Jews at Antioch.
After sailing from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia, John went back to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas came to the Synagogue at Antioch on the Sabbath and began to read from the Law and the Prophets, to those in attendance. The leaders who were present were eager to hear what they had to say, so Paul stood up and, with great enthusiasm, began to recount the history of Gods chosen people as He brought them out of Egypt and into their own land.
Paul reminded these men how patient the Lord had been with them during the forty years of their complaining and intractable attitudes. The Lord was faithful, in spite of their lack of trust. Their God had allowed Israel to conquer seven nations in Canaan and gave each tribe their own land. He gave them their judges, over a course of one hundred and fifty years, Samuel the prophet, Saul as their King, and David, a man after God’s own heart.
Paul began to recount how the Lord had fulfilled His prophetic word in sending a forerunner—John the Baptist—the last Old Testament prophet, to make their hearts ready for the coming of the promised Messiah. When Paul told them that in this man—Jesus, all the prophecies of the Messiah have been fulfilled, the Gentiles wanted to hear more, but the Jews became indignant.
Acts 13:26 Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.
Acts 13:38-39 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Acts 13:42-45 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.
After listening to Paul for some time, the Gentiles were ready to receive the Messiah, while the Jews to whom God had prepared their hearts to receive, were filled with envy and began to contradict what Paul was saying and to curse the name of Jesus.
It was at this time that Paul announced that the words of Isaiah were being fulfilled.
Acts 13:46-47 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
Today, whether you are descended from Abraham or are a part of the Gentile world, you have the supreme privilege of receiving Jesus as the Messiah. God has made available His salvation to all people, the good and the bad. Everyone is welcome to come to God in Jesus’ name and be saved. You are reading the fulfillment of the word of God in these prophecies which He gave to us so that we would know who the Messiah is when He arrived. This is the chosen time that God is drawing us all to Himself. The Lord has selected one man, Christ Jesus the Messiah, the fulfillment of all prophecy and promises, to redeem all those who will believe.
There were two groups of people who listened to Paul in Antioch; the receptive and the hard of heart. May we all be willing to listen to what God has said concerning the testimony of this man Jesus of Nazareth and understand that He is the One God promised to the world. By simply opening up our hearts to receive Jesus and understanding in our minds that all God said is fulfilled in Jesus, we can be saved.