Gentiles Carry The Gospel

When God determined that He would reveal Himself to the people of earth, He wanted every person to know Him. Before He created anything else, He knew each one of us and all the days of our life were known to Him. It was the plan of God to provide one simple and effective way that any person could have eternal life. Although the nation of Israel and the Jews were the intended conveyors of this message of salvation; when their Messiah arrived, they crucified Him. In response, God sent His offer of forgiveness and eternal life to every person on the planet.

In the wedding of the King’s Son, in Matthew 22:14, Jesus describes a parable in which a King arranges a marriage for his Son.[1] The King is God, the Father; His Son is Jesus Christ. The wedding is the uniting of Jesus with those who will receive Him and come into His church to be His bride. Israel was first invited to come to the wedding, but they were not willing. Instead, they killed those who were sent with the Lord’s invitation. God was angry with Israel and allowed her enemies to attack, destroy, and take captive the nation of Israel and her people.[2] The Father ordered other servants; the Apostles and Disciples of Jesus, to go out to the world with the good news that He has paid the price of our Salvation, and anyone who is willing can be forgiven and saved.

Here, seven hundred years before the event took place, Isaiah describes the Salvation of the Messiah, as it is offered to the ends of the earth.

Old Testament Prediction:

Isaiah 49:6b Indeed He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

New Testament Fulfillment:

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.’ ”

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

John 17:20-21 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

Matthew 12:17-21 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. …Till He sends forth justice to victory…”

The Word of Salvation Has Been Sent…

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. The 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. “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, from the beginning, to offer salvation to every person who would be 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, that will finally turn the eyes and the hearts of Israel back to the Lord, to receive Jesus as their promised Messiah in the last days.

The fulfillment of this prophecy from 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. Paul stood and 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 stubbornness. The Lord was faithful to His people, in spite of their lack of trust. The God of Israel, allowed the Jews to conquer seven nations in Canaan and gave each tribe their own land. He gave them 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 prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. When Paul told these men at Antioch that in Jesus, all of 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; 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. 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. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 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, whom God had prepared their hearts; 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.’ ”

When we consider that Isaiah could predict that a Messiah would arrive, and Israel wold reject Him, seems impossible. First, that Israel would not receive the one they had anticipated for so long. Second, the fact that Israel was chosen as the people who would bring the salvation message to the world, and this privilege would be taken from them, equally extraordinary. Third, that God would predict that many Gentiles who would first receive the Messiah when He arrived, would be the carriers of the salvation message, unbelievable. We should remember that these prophecies were written seven hundred years before they were fulfilled.

In this chapter, we see just how astonishing the entire story of the Messiah really is. It would be enough if we simply knew that God was sending someone to die for our sins. To consider that the Lord would add such a great degree of difficulty to His word; announcing that the Messiah would not be received by the very people to whom He was sent, inconceivable. If proper consideration is given to these facts, we begin to understand how over 400 other prophecies, equally difficult to fulfill; define the arrival of Jesus and His complete fulfillment of every prophecy, as a singularity of Human history. This degree of difficulty was chosen for the arrival of God’s Son to allow us the opportunity to correctly identify Him, when He comes.

The people who dispute that Jesus was anything more than a normal man who was misunderstood and crucified, have failed to understand what they are saying. Jesus arrival is supported by such a great body of Old Testament predictions, it should be impossible that anyone could fail to recognize Him. The reality of history is that what Isaiah wrote, did happen. This failure to recognize the One that God has sent to the world, continues today. The callous and unbelieving hearts of some people, make it impossible for even God to reach them.

Thankfully, there were many faithful people during the time that Jesus came, that did record these events for us. Many others studied the words of Jesus and discovered that His arrival was a perfect fulfillment of all that the ancient prophets has written for the Messiah.

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 these prophecies which God gave to the world, so that we would know who the Messiah is when He arrived. This is the chosen time that God is drawing all people to Himself. The Lord has selected one man, Christ Jesus—the Messiah, the fulfillment of every prophecy and promises of God; 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. In Him, we can be saved and experience a life that will never end.

[1] Matthew 22:1-14 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
[2] In 70 A.D., as Titus destroys Jerusalem and the Temple.