The Mission: Our City for The City (Part 2)
This is a guest blog from Jamus Edwards, Pastor of Pleasant Valley Community Church. Posted on behalf of the International Mission Board. You can read Part 1 of this post here.
. . . . . It then struck us that the goal in reaching our city should actually be, in turn, to reach all cities so that someday the final city will be one filled with skin colors that we have never seen and languages that we have never heard.
A primary text that has served to ignite our hearts has been Isaiah 49 which is one of the “Servant Songs,” whom we believe to be Jesus Himself. In Isaiah 49:5, Isaiah says, “And now the Lord says, He who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him; and that Israel might be gathered to Him—for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength.” We take this to mean that in verse five, God is calling Jesus to save Israel, “to bring back Jacob to Him, that Israel might be gathered to Him.” So in verse five God is sending Christ to save Israel, but the mission of the Messiah doesn’t end with Israel. In the very next verse, Isaiah 49:6, God 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…”
Other versions render this phrase “it is too small a thing” (NASB) or “it is not enough” (HCS) that Jesus should only go to Israel. Returning to verse six, while God says “it is too light a thing” for Jesus to only go to Israel, He then continues by saying, “I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
In essence, God is saying, “It’s not enough to take my name just to Israel (that’s too light, that’s too small). I want more glory and more praise; take my name to the NATIONS!” Just a few verses prior in Isaiah 49:3 God said to Jesus, “You are my Servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” The phrase “I will be glorified” literally means, “I will display my beauty.”
Thus, it was as though God was saying to our church, “It’s too light of a thing for Me just to be made beautiful in your city. It’s too small of a thing for me to just be glorified in Owensboro. It’s not enough just for the people in the United States to think that I’m beautiful. Go to the nations, that the entire globe might know that I am beautiful!”
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