The Purpose of the Mission- Restoration of Israel and Salvation of the Nations
(5) And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. (6) And 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 49:5-6)
We are at the point where we find out the purpose of the Mission. It is revealed here with a threefold purpose. We’ll look at the first two today, and the third tomorrow.
1. The Restoration of Israel.
We have already learned that part of the purpose of the mission that the Servant was sent on is to restore Israel in verse 5. In verse 6 it is expressed that the servant will “raise up the tribes of Israel” and “restore the preserved of Israel”.
We have also seen there is a hint that there will be a rejection of the servant at some level. This is in keeping with not only what happened in the Gospels, but also with what will be predicted in Isaiah 53.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.(Isaiah 53:3)
One day Israel’s restoration will be realized.
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.(Romans 11:26-27)
2. The Salvation of the Nations
Why is this entire conversation between the Lord and the Servant being related by the servant to the “isles” and the “peoples, from afar”? This part of the passage makes it clear. The Lord tells the servant that it is a “light thing” that He should restore Israel. This does not mean that it is unimportant. What is being related is that God’s mission is much bigger and much broader than just dealing with Israel. Notice what He says:
I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (v.6)
The purpose of God’s mission is to send the servant as a light. Do you remember what Jesus said about Himself?
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.(John 8:12)
The purpose of God’s mission is to send the Servant as salvation. Notice that He was not just proclaiming salvation. The servant is sent as salvation.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.(John 3:16-18)
Salvation is not just a plan. Salvation is a person. God’s mission was commissioned to Christ! Our commission is to point to Him as salvation.
Who do you need to point to Jesus today?